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Historic Sketches 

¥alls Walls, Whitman, Columbia and 

Garfield Counties, 


Umatilla County, Oregon. 







Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1882, by Frank T. Gilbert, in the office of 
the.Lihiarian of Congress, at Washington. I). C. 




Few persons read the preface to a book except authors, editors and critics, and 
they with a purpose mainly, of judging the writer's opportunity for understanding his 
subject. I would, therefore, say that in this instance it consists: first, in having 
spent a large proportion of the time since 1873 in studying it ; second, in having 
become familiar with the Pacific Coast by personal observation of its various his- 
toric localities, made through ten years of travel between Mexico and British Co- 
lumbia ; third, in having previously written local histories of various parts of the region 
mentioned, including counties in and the states of, California and Nevada; fourth, in 
having availed myself of the opportunity presented of perusing the contents of volumes 
treating upon this subject, contained in the numerous public and several valuable pri- 
vate libraries in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington Territory, and in a care- 
ful examination of numerous newspaper files, journals of pioneers, and private collec- 
tions of historic data ; fifth, in having interviewed a small army of argonauts who have 
been met with in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington 
Territory, among whom were those living on the Pacific Coast since 1830; and, with 
all this opportunity, there remains the necessity only of recording a regret that these 
"Sketches" are not more complete and traced with an abler pen. 

The design was not to produce a complete history, but present to the reader a 
brief glimpse of the whole — a glimpse of the Coast from its discovery ; of Califor- 
nia until Oregon ceased to be a part of it ; of Oregon while Washington Territory 
was within her boundary limits; of the latter from its creation until Walla Walla, 
Columbia, Whitman, and Garfield had been born into the sisterhood of counties. 

It would require a small volume in which to record the names of all those who 
have kindly given their influence and aid in the production of this work, and I there- 
fore refrain from so doing ; but beg leave in this connection to acknowledge the ser- 
vices, of Harry L. Wells whose able pen and experienced ability have contributed 
largely in producing the various county histories, and those of Alfred Burr whose 
artistic drawings adorn them. 


Discovery of the Pacifiic Ocean, in 1513, by Vasco Nunez de Balboa. 






Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the first white man to step upon the plain of Pacific 
Coast history, is introduced to the reader without prelude, or essay, upon the causes 
that led to his doing it. He was from the humble walks of life, heartless, fanatical, 
vain, cruel and ambitious. He was a Spaniard by birth, and a ghoul by nature, who, 
to escape his creditors, in Hispaniola, crept into the hold of a vessel bound for the 
Caribbean Sea. The commander, Enciso, threatened to have him thrown overboard, 
when found, but unfortunately, for humanity's sake, failed to do it- 
Finding his way eventually into the country where Cortez was teaching Catholi- 
cism with his sword to the Aztec worshippers of the sun, he became a leader of expe- 
ditions against that unfortunate race, and a successful General, who, winning easy vic- 
tories, slaughtered those whom he conquered, and planted the cross in blood wherever 
he went. 

It was this man, whom destiny had selected to stand in history, at the threshold 
of a new era, and part the screen that was hiding from the world a stage, upon which 
mankind were to commence a new act in the drama of life. He made the discovery, 
in 1513, being led by an Indian to the mountain, from where he could look out upon 
the sleeping legendary waters "beyond America," that conquerors and kings had 
sought in vain for. A few years later, the discoverer's head was cut off by Peter Anais, 
the Governor of Darien, who had become afraid and jealous of him. 

After it became known that a western water boundary had been found to the 
country that Cortez had subjugated for Spain, the spirit of discovery was increased to 
a fever-heat. The imagination of the adventurous of all countries' was excited to search 
for the El Dorado, where the Incas had procured their vast treasures of gold. It was 
hoped that the " fountain of perpetual youth" might be there, that would rescue from. 


old age the one who bathed in its living waters. At least, beyond were the Indies, 
with the wealth of the Orient, to tempt adventurous trade, and to fan the flame was 
added, by the Catholic Church, their spirit and zeal for religious conquest, to save the 
souls of heathen who lived in the countries found and to be found, where the shores 
were washed by the newly discovered ocean. 

With all these incentives urging to action, can it be wondered at that vast treasures 
were sj)ent in searching into these newly opened fields for adventure. The road to them 
had been found after eleven years of search, by Columbus and others, unsuccessfully 
prosecuted, to discover a strait or water passage through America, over which they 
might sail to the fountain of wealth, the fabulous land of Cathay, and the Island of 
( Jipango. To reach those strange countries had been the dream that first led Columbus 
to undertake the voyage that resulted in the discovery of America. 

Six years after this, (in 1510) theill-fated Portuguese, Magellan, started on the 
famous voyage that resulted in the discovery of the long sought route to the Indies ; 
thus solving the maritime problem of the fifteenth century. Three years later his 
vessel returned to Spain, with a log-book that contained a record of the death of that 
gallant commander at the Philippine Islands, whose vessel, the Nictoria, had been the 
first European craft to sail on the waters of the Pacific ocean, and the first to make a 
voyage around the world. It was this famous navigator that gave the name "Pacific" 
to our ocean, after having sailed into it from the straits of the " Ten Thousand Vir- 
gins," as he called it (now known as Magellan). He had been for sixty-three days 
beating up through it against tempest and adverse currents, where the tides rose and 
fell thirty feet. Is it strange that the .word Pacific should have been the one above 
all others to force itself upon the happy navigator, when he saw the quiet water that 
lay before and around him, as he passed out upon this unexj^lored ocean ? 

Five years after the departure of the Magellan expedition from Sj)ain, Cortez 
wrote to his monarch, Charles V., a letter dated Oct. 15, 1524, in which he states that 
he is upon the eve of entering upon the conquest of Colima, on the South Sea (Pacific 
ocean). Colima is now one of the states of Mexico. He further says that "the great 
men there" had given him information of " an Island of Amazons, or women only, 
abounding in pearls and gold, lying ten days journey from Colima," and the Spanish 
Jesuit historian, Miguel Venegas, referring to that letter, one hundred and thirty-three 
years ago, writes that " The account of the pearls inclines me to think that these were 
the first intimations we had of California and its Gulf''' 

Its discovery was made in 1534,. by Ortun Ximenes, a mutineer who led an out- 
break on board the ship of which he was pilot, resulting in the death of several officers 
including the captain. The expedition had been fitted up for exploration jmrposes by 
order of Cortez, and, after the commander was thus killed, Ximenes took charge and 
continued the search, discovered the Peninsula of Lower California, landed upon it at 
a point somewhere between La Paz and Cape St. Lucas, and while on shore, was killed 
with twenty of his men by Indians. The remainder of the crew returned to Chametla, 
where they reported a numerously peopled country found, where the shores were lined 
with valuable beds of pearls. Up to this time the word "California" had been applied 
to no part of the Pacific Coast or its waters. 

In 1536, Cortez fitting up an expedition, set sail for the country found by the 


mutineers. He landed on the first day of May at the place where Ximenes was killed, 
giving the name of Santa Cruz to the bay. He established a colony there, and sent 
back his four vessels for supplies and such of his party as had remained behind. Only 
one of them ever came back and it brought no provisions. Cortez immediately em- 
barked on the returned vessel and set out in search of his lost squadron, finding it 
stranded on the coast of Mexico, hopelessly damaged. Procuring fresh stores he re- 
turned to the colony, that in his absence had been reduced to a famishing condition, 
many of whom died of starvation, or over-eating from the j^rovisions he had brought 
with him. The historian Gomara says (and mark the language :) " Cortez, that he 
might no longer be a spectator of such miseries, went on further discoveries, and landed 
in California, which is a bay," and Venegas, the California historian of 1758, referring 
to this passage in the work of Gomara says that it "likewise proves that this name was 
properly that of a bay which Cortez discovered on the coast, and perhaps that now 
called de la Paz, and used to signify the whole peninsula." This was the first appli- 
cation of the name California to any definite point on what is called the Pacific Coast. 

Cortez was soon recalled to Mexico, on account of impending troubles and danger 
of a revolt in that country; glad to have an excuse for leaving a place that had proved 
fruitful only of disaster. Within a few months he was followed by the colony, and 
Lower California, with its rocks and wastes of sand, was left to the Indian, the cactus 
and the cayote. 

During the remainder of the sixteenth century there were four attempts made 
to explore the northern Pacific Coast by the Spaniards, only one of which was of im- 
portance. It occurred in 1542, under command of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who 
reached, in latitude 44°, March 10, 1543, the coast of Oregon, and then returned. He 
discovered Cape Mendocino, and named it after his friend Mendoza, the viceroy of 
Mexico. He also named the Farallone islands, opposite San Francisco bay. 

Spain, however, in the neAV world, did not have everything her own way in the 
sixteenth century. Her great ambition was to control the western route to the East 
Indies, that her ships, laden with silks, costly gems* and rare fabrics from that country, 
might pass undisturbed into her home ports. But the student of history reads of com- 
bats and strife between the Spaniards on the one side, and the Dutch fleets and English 
freebooters on the other, as they searched the high seas in quest of Spanish treasure- 

There was one ; bolder and more reckless, more ambitious and successful than the 
others, who won the reputation of being the "King of the Sea." In 1578, he passed 
into the Pacific, around Cape Horn, and scattered terror and devastation among the 
Spanish shipping along the coast. He captured the East India galleon, that was on 
her way home loaded with wealth; levied contributions in the ports of Mexico; and, 
finally, with his war-vessels freighted with captured treasures, sailed north to search 
for the fabled Straits of Anian. Through it he proposed passing home to England, 
and thus avoid a combat with the fleets of Spain, that lay in wait for him off the Straits 
of Magellan. His name was Captain Francis Drake; but afterwards the English mon- 
arch knighted him for becoming the most successful robber on the high seas, and now 
the historian records the name as Sir Francis Drake. When near the mouth of Ump- 
qua river, in Oregon, he ran his vessel into a "poor harbor," put his Spanish pilot, 


Morera, ashore, and left him to find his way hack, thirty-five hundred miles, through 
an unknown country, thickly populated with savages, to his home in Mexico. This 
feat must have been accomplished, as the only account existing of the fact, comes 
through Spanish records, showing that he survived the expedition to have told the 
result. Drake then continued his voyage north, until he had reached about lati- 
tude 48°, when the cold weather, although it was after the fifth of June, forced an 
abandonment of the hope of a discovery of the mythical straits. The chaplain who 
accompanied the expedition, being the historian of the voyage, says of the cold, that 
their hands were numbed, and meat would freeze when taken from the fire ; and 
when they were lying-to, in the harbor at Drake's bay, a few miles up the Coast 
from San Francisco, the snow covered the low hills. That June of 1579, three 
hundred and three years ago, must have been an extraordinary one on the Pacific 
Coast. For a long time it was believed that Sir Francis Drake discovered the Bay 
of San Francisco; that it was in its waters he cast anchor for thirty-six days, after 
having been forced back along the coast by adverse winds from latitude 48°, near 
the north line of the United States; but in time this was questioned, and now it 
is generally conceded that he is not entitled to that distinction. Who discovered 
that harbor, or when the discovery was made, will probably never be known. What 
clothes it in mystery is, that the oldest chart or map of the Pacific Coast known, 
on which a hay resembling in any way that of San Francisco, at or near the 
point where it is, was laid down on a sailing-chart found in an East Indian gal- 
leon, captured in 1742, by Anson, an English commodore, with all her treasure, 
amounting to one and a half million dollars. Upon this chart there appeared seven 
little dots, marked " Los Farallones, 1 ' and opposite these was a land-locked bay that 
resembled San Francisco harbor, but on the chart it bore no name. This is the 
oldest existing evidence of the discovery of the finest harbor in the world, and it 
proves two things : first, that its existence was known previous to that date; second, 
that the knowledge was possessed by the Manila merchants to whom the chart and 
galleon belonged. Their vessels had been not unfrequently wreeked upon our coasts 
as far north as Cape Mendocino ; and as Venegas, writing sixteen years later, says 
nothing of such a harbor, we are led to believe that its existence was possibly only 
known to those East India Jesuit merchants, and kept secret by them for fear that 
its favorable location and adaptation would render it a favorite resort for pirates 
and war-ships of rival nations to lie in wait for their galleons. 

With Sir Francis Drake, unquestionably, lies the honor of having been the 
first of the European race to land upon the coast of California, of which any re- 
cord is extant. The account of that event, given by Rev. Fletcher, the chaplain 
of the expedition, states that the natives, having mistaken them for gods, offered 
sacrifices to them, and that, to dispel the illusion, they proceeded to offer up their 
own devotions to a Supreme Being. The narrative goes on to relate that — 

"Our necessaire business being ended, our General, with his companie, travailed up into 
the countrey to their villiages, where we found heardes of deere by 1,000 in a companie, being 
most large and fat of bodie. We found the whole countrey to be a warren of a strange kinde 
of connies; their bodies in bigness as be the Barbarie Connies, their heads as the heads of ours, 
the feet of a "Want (mole) and the taile.of a rat, being of great length; under her chinne on 
either side a bagge, into the which she gathered her meate, when she hath filled her bellie, 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1882, by Frank T. Gilbert, in the office of 
the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 


abroad. The people do eat their bodies, and make acconipt for their skinnes, for their King's 
coat was made out of them." The farmer will readily recognize the little burrowing squirrel that 
ruins his fields of alfalfa, where the ground cannot be overflowed to drown them. "Our Gen- 
eral called this countrey Nova Albion, and that for two causes: the one in respect of the white 
bankes and cliffes which lie toward the ssa ; and the other because it might have some affinitie 
with our countrey in name, which sometime was so called. 

" There is no part of earth here to be taken up, wherein there is not a reasonable quantilie 
of gold or silver. Before sailing away, our General set up a monument of our being there, as 
also of her majestie's right and title to the same, viz: a plate nailed upon a faire great poste, 
whereupon was engraved her majestie's name, the day and yeare of our arrival there, with the 
free giving up of the province and people into her majestie's hands, together with her high- 
ness' picture and arms, in a piece of five pence of current English money under the plate, 
whereunder was also written the name of our General." 

On the line between Washington Territory and the British j>ossessions, is an 
indenture from the sea, running inland over one hundred miles, from where it 
sweeps around to the north-west for about 250 miles, and cuts off from the conti- 
nent a large tract of country, known- as Vancouver Island. This indenture is 
known as the Strait of Juan de Fuca, having been so called because a Greek by 
that name claimed to have discovered it while sailing in 1592, under Spanish colors 
and authority. A reasonable doubt existed in his time, as to the truth of his claim, 
but after events have served to partially dispel them. 

The incentive that prompted all nations to discoveries and occupation along the 
Pacific Coast is forcibly and plainly given by King Philip III., of Spain, in a 
message to his viceroy in Mexico, which states the reason why he issues an or- 
der for the further exploration of the coast and its occupation. The document 
was dated August 16, 1606, and sets forth that, 

" Don Pedro de Acunna, Knight of the Order of St. John, my governor and captain-general 
of the Phillipian Islands and president of my royal audience there. You are hereby given to 
understand that Don Louis de Valasco, my late viceroy in New Spain, in regard to the great 
distance between the port of Acapulco and those islands, the fatigue, hai'dships, and danger of 
that voyage, for want of a port where ships might put in and provide themselves with water, 
wood, masts, and other things of absolute necessity, determined to make a discovery, and 
draughts, with observation of harbors along the coast, from New Spain to these islands." 

The communication goes on to give the successive events in the prosecution of 
the enterprise until after the return of Viscaino's expedition in 1603, and then 
adds, speaking of the Indians found upon our coast: 

" That their clothing is of the skins of sea-wolves, which they have a very good method of 
tanning and preparing, anl that they have abundance of flax, hemp and cotton, and that the said 
Sebastian Viscaino carefully informed himself of these Indians and many others whom he discov- 
ered along the coast for above 800 leagues, and they all told him that up the country there were 
large towns, silver, and gold; whence he is inclined to believe that great riches may be discovered, es- 
pecially as in some parts of the land veins of metal are to be found." 

Thus the Spanish crown gives reasons for wishing to occupy the country, and 
it must be borne in mind that these inducements were equally strong with other 
powers that were hostile to Spain. Venegas, in his efforts to justify the Jesuits, 
gives the additional reasons not mentioned by the king, why Spain and England, 
those powerful rivals, should each desire to possess it, He writes: 

" That in the meantime the English should find out the so-much-desired passage to the 
South Sea, by the north of America and above California, which passage is not universally de- 


nied, and one day may be found; that they may fortify themselves on both sides of this pas- 
sage, and thus extend the English dominion from the north to the south of America, so as 
to border on our possessions. Should English colonies and garrisons be established- along the 
coast of America on the South Sea beyond Cape Mendocino, or lower down on California itself, 
England would then, without control, reign mistress of the sea and its commerce, and be 
able to threaten by land and sea the territories of Spain; invade them on occasion from the 
E., W., N. and S., hem them in and press them on all sides." 

With all these causes at work to spur forward the different maritime nations 
of the world — with all these visions of things imagined, that lay covered up in the 
land unknown, working upon the fancy, it could do naught else than dot the high 
seas with adventurers and fleets of empires Yet one hundred and sixty-three i/e<tv* 
passed, after the discovery, before a permanent settlement was made in any part 
of this fabulous land, that held secreted for the coming generations, within its lim- 
its, the realization of all their wildest hopes. 

There remains the record of hut one Spanish navigator who passed up along 
the coast of California during the seventeenth century. His name was Sebastian 
Viscaino, who sailed from Acapulco May 5, 1602. Passing north along the coast 
of Lower California, he discovered the harbors of San Diego and Monterey, the 
latter being named by him in memory of his friend, the viceroy of Mexico. At 
this point he sent back his sick, then moved on up the coast, leaving Monterey 
harbor to slumber for one hundred and sixty-six years, disturbed only by the winds 
and the balsas of the natives. His course was close in along the shore, searching 
for harbors, where a station to supply the East India galleons might be established. 
Reaching a point a few miles below the bay that we now know as San Francisco, 
his evil genius sent him out to sea, where he continued north, keeping the land 
in sight, and thus passed that port. Coming opposite to what is now called Drake's 
bay, behind Point Reyes, where that famous sea-king spent those thirty-six days 
when he landed and took possession of the country for England, he changed his 
course and put into shore in search of the cargo of a vessel called the San Augustine, 
that had been wrecked there in 1595. The learned historian, Juan de Torque- 
mada, writing in 1615, says: "He anchored behind a point of rocks called 'La 
Punta de los Reyes,' in the port San Francisco." Finding nothing, he continued 
his voyage towards the north, keeping the land in view, until he had sighted Cape 
Mendocino, when a council of his associates was called to decide what was best 
to do under the circumstances. But six able-bodied men were left on the vessel; 
had there been fourteen it was the general's intention to push north to latitude, 46° 
near where the Columbia river has since been found to empty into the Pacific ocean. 
From all that could be learned, he believed that near this was the straits of Anian, 
that were supposed to separate Asia from America, and connect the Atlantic with 
the Pacific oceans, through which he proposed to sail for Spain. 

The condition of that crew is beyond the power of pen to describe; the follow- 
ing from that of Torquemada, who was writing of them, will give some idea of what 
the navigator, of those early times, had to contend with, having no means of pre- 
serving on shipboard, for long voyages, vegetables for food, to ward off this horri- 
ble disease. After describing the progress of the disorder, he continues as follows: 

" Nor is the least ease to be expected from change of place as the slighest motion is attended 


Avith such severe pains that they must be very fond of life who would not willingly lay it down 
on the first appearance of so terrible a distemper. This virulent humour makes such ravages 
in the body that it is entirely covered with ulcers, and the poor patients are unable to bear 
the least pressure ; even the very clothes laid on them deprive them of life. Thus they lie 
groaning and incapable of any relief. For the greatest assistance possible to be given them, if I 
may be allowed the expression, is not to touch them, nor even the bed clothes. These effects, 
however melancholy, are not the only ones produced by this pestilential humour. In many, 
the gums, both of the upper and lower jaws, are pressed both within and without to such a de- 
gree, that the teeth cannot touch one another, and withal so loose and bare that they shake with 
the least motion of the head, and some of the patients spit their teeth out with their saliva. 
Thus they were unable to receive any food but liquid, as gruel, broth, milk of almonds, and the 
like. This gradually brought on so great a weakness that they died while talking to their friends. 
* * * Some, by way of ease, made loud complaints, others lamented their sins with the deepest 
contrition, some died talking, some sleeping, some eating, some whilst sitting up in their beds." 

We must pass, without further notice, the details of this celebrated voyage, ex- 
cept to note that it returned to Mexico in March, 1603. Much of what has been 
given here of the hardships attending it has been for the purpose of impressing 
upon the reader's mind, a knowledge of some obstacles guarding the approach of our 
coast; which, combined with her rocky shore and uncultivated soil, placed at the 
threshold against invasion a more formidable and dreaded defense than the fa- 
bled winged serpent was which guarded approaches to India. 

In 1606, the king issued an order for the establishment, at Monter ey, of a 
supply station for the East Indies, but it was never executed, and nothing further 
towards settlement was attempted until 1683, when Admiral Otondo headed an ex- 
pedition, by water, to take possession of the country. He landed at La Paz, erected 
a church, and made that his headquarters. Father Kino was in charge of the re- 
ligious part of the enterprise, and set about learning the Indian language, and 
soon translated into their tongue the creeds of the Catholic Church. The effort 
lasted about three years, during which time they were visited with an eighteen 
months' drought, and before they had recovered from the blow, received orders 
to put to sea, and bring into Acapulco safely the Spanish galleon, then in dan- 
ger of capture by the Dutch privateers that were lying in wait for her. This was suc- 
cessfully accomplished, the treasure-ship was conveyed safely in, but the act resulted in 
the abandonment again of the occupation of California. 

The society of Jesuits was then solicited by the government of Spain to un- 
dertake the conquest, and was offered $40,000 yearly from the royal treasury to 
aid them in the enterprise, but declined the undertaking. Spain was then forced 
to abandon the attempt to occupy the country, though it was believed to be the 
rival of the legendary El Dorado, and a key to the defenses of her possessions al- 
ready obtained in the new world. For one hundred and forty-seven years after 
Cortez had first established a colony on her coast, the treasure of private citizens 
and the government of Spain had been poured out in unsuccessful attempts to hold 
the country by explorations and colonies; but the time had at last come when they 
were forced to yield possession to its native tribes, and acknowledge defeat. 



Any part of a history of the settlement of Lower California, one of the states 
now of Mexico, is a pertinent subject to he reckoned among events constituting 
the history of our coast; ami is important, being the door through which, in after 
time, civilization was first extended farther north. It was the nursery where ex- 
perience taught a religious sect how to enter, then exist, and finally subdue the 

In the preceding chapter is noted the last expedition before the final abandon- 
ment by Spain of any further attempt to occupy a part of California. With that 
expedition was a monk who had voluntarily abandoned a lucrative and honorable 
position as a professor in Ingolstadt College. He had made a vow, while lying 
at the point of death, to his patron Saint, Francis Xavier, that if he should recov- 
er, he would, in the remaining years of his life, follow the example set in the life- 
time of that patron. He did recover, resigned his professorship, and crossed the 
sea to Mexico, and eventually became the one who, as a missionary, accompanied 
that last expedition. He was a German by birth, and his name in his native land 
was Kuhn, lint the Spaniards have recorded it as Father Eusebio Francisco Kino. 

Father Kino had become strongly impressed in his visit to the country with 
the feasibility of a plan by which the land might be taken possession of and held. 
His object was not the conquest of a kingdom, but the conversion of its inhabitants, 
and the saving of souls. His plan was to go into the country and teach the Indians 
the principles of the Catholic faith, educate them to support themselves by tilling 
the soil, and improvement through the experience of the advantages to be obtained 
by industry ; the end of all being to raise up a Catholic province for the Spanish 
crown, and people paradise with the souls of converted heathen. The means to be 
employed in accomplishing this, were the jmests of the order of Jesuits, protected 
by a small garrison of soldiers, both sustained by contributions from those friendly 
to the enterprise. The mode of applying the means was, to first occupy some fa- 
vorable place in the country, where, protected by a small garrison, a storehouse 
and a church could be erected that would render the fathers' maintenance and life 
comparatively secure. This would give them an opportunity to win the confidence 
of the Indians, by a patient, long-continued, uniform system of affectionate inter- 
course and just dealing, and then use their appetites as the means by which to con- 
vert their souls. 

It is difficult for us of the nineteenth century to appreciate the grand con- 
ception, to realize the magnitude of the task undertaken by that monastic Hercules. 


With a heart that loved humanity because it had a soul, with a charity that for- 
gave all thiugs except a death in sin, infolding with affection all the images of the 
Creator, with a tongue that made the hearer listen for the voice of angels, with a 
faith in success like one of the chosen twelve, he became an enthusiast, and was 
to California what John the Baptist was to Christianity, the forerunner of a change 
to come. And the end is not yet — it will never be, for eternity will swallow it up. 

Spain had spent vast treasures, in that century and a half of unsuccessful effort, 
to survey and occupy the upper Pacific coast, The first colony, established in 
1536 by Cortez, had cost $400,000 ; the last, by Otondo, in 1683, $225,400, to which 
add all the expensive efforts that occurred between those dates, and the total foots 
among the millions. So vast an outlay, followed by no favorable result, rendered 
the subject one of annoyance, and clothed with contempt any that were visionary 
enough to advocate a further prosecution of such an enterprise, so repeatedlv de- 
monstrated to be but a "delusion and a snare." 

With such an outlook, uncheering, unfriendly, with no reward to urge to ac- 
tion, except beyond the grave, with a prospect of defeat and a probability of mar- 
tyrdom as a result, Father Kino started, on the twentieth of October, 1686, to travel 
over Mexico, and, by preaching, urge his views and hopes of the enterprise. He 
soon met on the way a congenial spirit, Father Juan Maria Salva Tierra ; and then 
another, Father Juan Ugarte, added his great executive ability to the cause. Their 
united efforts resulted in ■ obtaining sufficient funds by subscription. Then they 
procured a warrant from the king for the order of Jesuits to enter upon the con- 
quest of California, at their own expense, for the benefit of the crown. The order 
was given February 5, 1697, and it had required eleven years of constant urging 
to procure it, October 10, of the same year, Salva Tierra sailed from the coast of 
Mexico to put in operation Kino's long-cherished scheme of conquest. The expe- 
dition consisted of one small vessel and a long-boat, in which were provisions, the 
necessary ornaments and furniture for fitting up a rude church, and Father Tierra, 
accompanied by six soldiers and three Indians. It was an unpretentious army, 
going forth to conquest, to achieve with the cross what the army, navy, and »power 
of a kingdom combined had failed to do. 

On the nineteenth of October, 1697, they reached the point selected on the 
east coast of the peninsula, and says Venegas : — 

"The pro-visions and animals were landed, together with the baggage; the Father, though 
the head of the expedition, being the first to load his shoulders. The barracks for the little gar- 
rison were now built, and a line of circumvallation thrown up. In the center a tent was pitched 
for a temporary chapel; before it was erected a crucifix, with a garland of flowers. * * * * 
The image of our Lady of Loretto, as patroness of the conquest, was brought in procession from 
the boat, and placed with proper solemnity." 

On the twenty-fifth of the same month, formal possession was taken of the 
country in "his majesty's name," and has never since been abandoned. 

Immediately the priest initiated the plan of conversion. He called together 
the Indians, explained to them the catechism, prayed over the rosary, and then dis- 
tributed among them a half bushel of boiled corn. The corn was a success — they were 
very fond of it ; but the prayers and catechism were " bad medicine." They wanted 


more corn and less prayers, and proceeded to steal it from the sacks. This was 
stopped by excluding them from the fort, and they were kindly informed that corn 
would be forthcoming only as a reward for attendance and attention at the devotions. 
•This created immediate hostility, and the natives formed a conspiracy to murder 
the garrison and have a big corn-eat on the thirty-first day of October, only twelve 
days after the first landing of the expedition upon the coast. The design was dis- 
covered and happily frustrated, when a general league was entered into among 
several tribes, and a descent was made upon the fort by about five hundred In- 
dians. The priest rushed upon the fortifications and warned them to desist, beg- 
ging them to go away, telling them that they would be killed if they did not; but 
his solicitude for their safety was responded to by a number of arrows from the na- 
tives, when he came down and the battle began in earnest. The assailants went down 
like grass before the scythe, as the little garrison opened with their fire-arms in vol- 
leys upon the unprotected mass, and they immediately beat a hasty retreat, where 
at a safe distance they sent in one of their number to beg for peace, who, savs 

"With tears assured our men that it was those of the neighboring rancheria under him who 
had first formed the plot, and on account of the paucity of their numbers, had spirited up the 
other nations; adding, that those being irritated by the death of their companions were for reveng- 
ing them, but that both the one and the other sincerely repented of their attempt. A little while after 
came the women with their children, mediating a peace, as is the custom of the country. They 
sat down weeping at the gate of the camp, with a thousand promises of amendment, and offering 
to give up their children as hostages for the performance. Father Salva Tierra heard them 
with his usual mildness, shewing them the wickedness of the procedure, and if their husbands 
would behave better, promised them peace, an amnesty, and forgetfulness of all that was past; he 
also distributed among them several little presents, and to remove any mistrust they might have 
he took one of the children in hostage, and thus they returned in high spirits to the rancherias. " 

Thus the first contest was brought to a termination eminently satisfactory to the 
colonists. The soldiers* guns had taught the Indians respect, and the sacks of corn 
allured them back for the priests to teach them the Catholic faith. 

We quote further from Venegas, the Jesuit historian, as follows, that the read- 
er mav get a correct understanding of the manner in which the fathers treated the 
aboriginal occupants of the country, and the way they conquered the ignorance, indo- 
lence and viciousness of those tribes : 

"In the morning, after saying mass, at which he (Father Ugarte) obliged them to attend with 
order and respect, he gave a breakfast of pozoli to those who were to work, set them about build- 
ing the church and houses for themselves and his Indians, clearing ground for cultivation, making 
trenches for conveyance of water, holes for planting trees, or digging and preparing the ground 
for sowing. In the building part, Father Ugarte was master, overseer, carpenter, bricklayer and 
laborer. For the Indians, though animated by his example, could neither by gifts nor kind 
speeches be prevailed upon to shake off their innate sloth, and were sure to slacken if they did 
not see the father work harder than any of them; so he was the first in fetching stones, treading 
the clay, mixing the sand, cutting, carrying and barking the timber; removing the earth and fix- 
ing materials. He was equally laborious in the other tasks, sometimes felling the trees with his 
axe, sometimes with his spade in his hand digging up the earth, sometimes with an iron crow 
splitting rocks, sometimes disposing the water-trenches, sometimes leading the beasts and cattle, 
which he had procured for his mission, to pasture and water; thus, by his own example, teaching 
the several kinds of labor. The Indians, whose narrow ideas and dullness could not at first enter 
into the utility of these fatigues, which at the same time deprived them of their customary freedom 


of roving among the forests, on a thousand occasions sufficiently tried his patience — coming late, 
not caring to stir, running away, jeering him, and sometimes even forming combinations, and 
threatening death and destruction; all this was to be borne with unwearied patience, having no 
other recourse than affability and kindness, sometimes intermixed with gravity to strike respect; 
also taking care not to tire them, and suit himself to their weakness. In the evening the father 
led them a second time in their devotions; in which the rosary was prayed over, and the catechism 
explained; and the service was followed by the distribution of some provisions. At first they 
were very troublesome all the time of the sermon, jesting and sneering at what was said. This 
the father bore with for a while, and then proceeded to reprove them; but finding they were not 
to be kept in order, he made a very dangerous experiment of what could be done by fear. Near 
him stood an Indian in high reputation for strength, and who, presuming on his advantage, the only 
quality esteemed by them, took upon himself to be more rude than the others. Father Ugarte, who 
was a large man, and of uncommon strength, observing the Indian to be in the height of his laughter, 
and making signs of mockery to the others, seized him by the hair and lifting him up swung him to 
and fro; at this the rest ran away in the utmost terror. They soon returned, one after another, and 
the father so far succeeded to intimidate them that they behaved more regularly for the future." 

In writing of the same priest and his labors in starting a mission in another j)lace, 
this historian relates that : 

"He endeavored, by little jjresents and caresses, to gain the affections of his Indians; not 
so much that they should assist him in the building as that they might take a liking to the cat- 
echism, which he explained to them as well as he could, by the help of some Indians of Loretto, 
while he was perfecting himself in their language. But his kindness was lost on the adults, 
who, from their invincible sloth, could not be brought to help him in any one thing, though 
they partook of, and used to be very urgent with him for pozoli and other eatables. He was 
now obliged to have recourse to the assistance of the boys, who, being allured by the father 
with sweetmeats and presents, accompanied him wherever he would have them; and to habituate 
these to any,work it was necessary to make use of artifice. Sometimes he laid a wager with them who 
should soonest pluck up the mesquites and small trees; sometimes he offered reward to those who 
took away most earth; and it suffices to say that in forming the bricks he made himself a boy with 
boys, challenged them to play with the earth, and dance upon the clay. The father used to take 
off his sandles and tread it, in which he was followed by the boys skipping and dancing on the clay 
and the father with them. The boys sang, and were highly delighted; the father also sang, and 
thus they continued dancing and treading the clay in different parts till meal-time. This enabled 
him to erect his poor dwelling and church, at the dedication of which the other fathers assisted. 
He made use of several such contrivances in order to learn their language; first teaching the boys sev- 
eral Spanish words, that they might afterwards teach him their language. When, by the help of 
these masters, the interpreters of Loretto, and his own observation and discourse with the adults, 
he had attained a sufficient knowledge of it, he began to catechise these poor gentiles, using a 
thousand endearing ways, that they should come to the catechism. He likewise made use of his 
boys for carrying on their instruction. Thus, with invincible patience and firmness under excessive 
labors, he went on humanizing the savages who lived oq the spot, those of the neighboring ranch- 
erias, and others, whom he sought among woods, breaches and caverns; going about everywhere, that 
he at length administered baptism to many adults, and brought this new settlement into some form." 

In this manner those devoted fathers struggled on through seventy, years of 
ceaseless toil, to plant the cross through that worthless peninsula of Lower California 
— a land that God seemed to have left unfinished at the eve of creation, intending it 
for solitude and the home of the cactus, the serpent, and the tarantula. 

The plan of subduing the savages will be readily seen from what Venegas 
records, and it proved successful. The missions, all of them for a time, some of them 
always, were supported by remittances from Mexico, hoping that eventually the In- 
dians could be Christianized, educated to work, and, with the aid of the fathers, make 
the missions self-supporting. Within the first eight years there were expended, in 


establishing six missions, fifty-eight thousand dollars, and one million two hundred 
and twenty-five thousand dollars in supporting the Indians that were subject, to them. 
The after events that constituted the history of the peninsula are a continuous 
succession of strongly marked acts that would make an interesting book for one to 
peruse who is seeking the history of the Indians as a race ; but not of sufficient im- 
portance as an adjunct to Pacific Coast history to warrant their relation in this work. 
Therefore they will be passed, enough having been given to show the reader how 
the Catholics became the conquerors of that country. In 1767, the Jesuits were ex- 
pelled from the Spanish dominions, and forced to abandon their work in lower Cal- 
ifornia ; but they left behind them a record of having paved the way and solved the 
problem of how to subdue and control the native tribes of the West. They have 
left behind them the record of having become the pioneers in the culture of the grape 
and in the making of wine on this const, having sent to Mexico their vintage as 
early as 1706. They were the pioneer manufacturers, having taught the Indians 
the use of the loom in the manufacture of 'cloth as early as 1707. They built, in 1719, 
the first vessel ever launched from the soil of California, .calling it the Triumph of 
the Cross. Two of their number suffered martyrdom at the hands of the Indians, 
and the living were rewarded for those years of toil, of privation and of self-sacrifice, 
by banishment from the land they had subdued; leaving, for their successors, the 
Franciscans, sixteen flourishing missions, and thirty-six villages, as testimonials of 
the justice and wisdom of their rule. 



The Franciscan order of the Catholic Church had no sooner become possessed 
of the missions established on the peninsula by the Jesuits, than another order of 
that church, called the Dominican, laid claim to a portion of them. The Franciscans 
deemed it a work and class of property that should not be segregated, and expressed 
a preference of yielding the whole rather than a part, and eventually turned it all 
over to the Dominicans. This willingness to abandon the field to their rivals was 
not, what it might at first seem to be, a spirit of self-abnegation. It was rather the 
wisdom of the serjjent that lay concealed under an exterior of apparent harmlessness 
like that of the dove. 

As before stated in this work, the process of occupying the peninsula of Lower 
California had been a school wherein the Catholic Church had educated the world 



in the proper means to be employed in making a conquest of the coast Indians and 
their country. It had been a part of the orignal plan of the Jesuits to extend the 
missions on up the country, along the coast, until a chain of connection had been 
formed from La Paz in the south to those straits in the north that the nautical world 
supposed separated Asia from America, and called at that time the "Straits of Anian." 
But they were not permitted to perfect the plan, being banished before 'their conquests 
had reached beyond the limits of the peninsula. 

The Franciscans yielded possession of this territory to their Dominican rivals 
with the purpose of entering further north and taking possession of the country 
that heretofore had only been seen "as through a glass darkly," and thus perfect the 
original plan. In this way they hoped to become possessors of a better land, where 
legend had located the rich gold and silver mines, from whence the Aztecs had drawn 
their treasure. 

In pursuance of this plan, the Spanish crown issued an order calling for the 
rediscovery of bays in the upper coast, and an occupation of that country. In response 
to the order, an expedition started in 1769. under the management of Junipero Serro, 
a Franciscan monk. His immediate intention was to found three missions in Upper 
California — one at San Diego, one at Monterey, and the third between those places. 
The general object of the expedition, as laid down by Joseph De Galvez, was "To es- 
tablish the Catholic religion among a numerous heathen people, submerged in the ob- 
scure darkness of paganism, to extend the dominion the King, our Lord, and to pro- 
tect the 'peninsula from the ambitious views of foreign Jiations." 

He also sets forth that this had been the object of the Spanish crown since the report 
of the discoveries by Viscaino in 1603. It was deemed advisable to divide the expedi- 
tion, and send a portion of it by sea in their three vessels, leaving the remainder to go 
from Mexico overland by way of the most northerly of the old missions. Accordingly, 
on the ninth of January, 1769, the sliip San Carlos sailed from La Paz, followed on 
the fifteenth of February by the San Antonio. The last to sail was the San Joseph, on 
the sixteenth of June, and she was never heard from afterwards. The ocean swallowed 
her up, with her crew, thus summoned to the ranks of an army that through the 
centuries, in re-seeking the rock-bound coast of California, had found instead the 
boundless shore of an unexplored eternity. The vessels were all loaded with pro- 
visions, numerous seeds, grain to sow, farming utensils, church ornaments, furniture 
and passengers, their destination being the port of San Diego. The first to reach 
that place was the San Antonio. She arrived on the eleventh of April, after losing- 
eight of her crew with scurvy. Twenty days later the San Carlos made her labor- 
ious way into port, with only the captain, the cook and one seaman left of her crew 
alive, the balance having fallen victims of that terrible scourge of the early navigators. 

The overland party was also divided into two companies; one, under command of 
Fernando Revera Moncada, was to assemble at the northern limit of the peninsula, 
where was located the most northerly mission, and take two hundred head of black 
cattle over the country to San Diego, the point where all were to meet in the new 
land to be subdued. Revera set out on the twenty-fourth of March, and was the 
first European to cross the southern deserts, guarding approaches from that direc- 


tion to the upper coast. He reached the point of general rendezvous on the four- 
teenth of May, after having spent fifty-one days in the journey. 

The governor of Lower California, Gaspar de Portala, took command of the 
remaining part ot the land expedition, and started,' May fifteenth, from the same 
place that, on the frontier, had been Revera's point of departure. With Por- 
tala was the president, under whose charge the whole enterprise was placed; and 
of this man, Father Frances Junipero Serro, I he pioneer of California, a more 
than passing notice would seem in place. He was born on an island in the Medi- 
terranean sea, and from infancy Avas educated with a view of becoming a priest of 
the Romish Church. He was a man of eloquence and enthusiasm, of strong per- 
sonal magnetism and power, possessing to a, remarkable degree those peculiarities 
of character found in martyrs and dervishes. He had gained a wide reputation as 
a missionary among the Indians in Mexico, and was the great revivalist in his 
church. He frequently aroused his congregation almost to frenzy by his wild, 
enthusiastic demonstrations of religious fervor. He would beat himself with chains 
and stones, and apply to his naked flesh the burning torch, to show the apathetics 
the need of crucifying the body in penance for their sins. On one Occasion his self- 
inflicted punishment with the cruel chain A\as so great that one of his congrega- 
tion rushed to the altar, and seized the links from his hands, exclaiming, "Let a 
sinner suffer penance, father, not one like you," and then beat himself with them, 
until he fell to the floor in a swoon. Such Avas the man and his power over others, 
to whom was committed the task of a "spiritual conquest" of Upper or New Cali- 

Edmund Randolph, in his vivid and excellent Outline of the History of Cali- 
fornia, in mentioning this man and his journey over the country to enter upon his 
new field of duty, states that : — 

"It ay as May before be joined Portala at the same encampment from which Revera set out. 
The reverend Father President came up in very bad condition. He was traveling Avith an escort 
of tAvo soldiers, and hardly able to get on or off his mnle. His foot and leg were greatly inflamed, 
and the more that he always Avore sandals, and never used boots, shoes or stockings. His priest 
and the governor tried to dissuade him from the undertaking, but he said he Avould rather die on 
the road, yet he had faith that the Lord would carry him safely through. * * * On the second 
day out his pain was so great that he could neither sit, nor stand, nor sleep, and Portala, being 
still unable to induce him to return, gave orders for a litter to be made. Hearing this, Father 
Junipero was greatly distressed on the score of the Indians, who would have to carry him. He 
prayed fervently, and then a happy thought occurred to him. He called one of the muleteers, and 
addressed him, so runs the story, in these words: ' Son, don't you know some remedy for the sore 
on my foot and leg ? ' But the muleteer answered, ' Father, what remedy can I know ? Am I a 
surgeon ? I am a muleteer, and have only cured the sore backs of beasts. ' Then consider me a 
beast,' said the father, ' and this sore, that has produced this swelling of my legs and the grievous 
pain I am suffering, and that neither let me stand nor sleep, to be a sore back, and give me the 
same treatment you would apply to a beast.' The muleteer, smiling, as did all the rest who heard 
him, answered, ' I will, Father, to please you ;' and taking a small piece of tallow mashed it between 
two stones, mixing it with herbs, Avhich he found growing close by ; and having heated it over the 
fire, anointed the foot and leg, leaving a plaster of it on the sore. God wrought in such a manner, 
for so wrote Father Junipero himself from San Diego, that he slept all that night until daybreak, 
and awoke so much relieved from his pains that he got up and said matins and prime, aud after- 
wards mass, as if he had never suffered such an accident, and to the astonishment of the Governor 
and the troop at seeing the Father in such health and spirits for the journey, which was not delayed 


a moment on his account. Such a man was Junipero Serro, and so he journeyed when he went to 
conquer California. On July 1, 1769, they reached San Diego, all well, in forty-six days after leav- 
ing the frontier.' 1 

This was the last of the several divisions to arrive at that point, and its members 
were received with heartfelt demonstrations by their companions, some of whom had 
been anxiously awaiting them for nearly three months. 

This was one hundred and thirteen years ago, and was the era from which 
dates the commencement of a histor}^ of the European race in California. Then, 
for the first time, the Visigoth came there to make a home where he expected to 
live and to die. It was an epoch in time of great moment to the civilized world, 
a year freighted with events that in their bearing upon the family of men was 
second to none since that birth in a manger at Bethlehem. Within it were ushered 
upon the stage of life the two great men, military commanders, Wellington and 
Bonaparte, whose acts were to shape the destinies of Europe; yes, of the world. 
That year not only saw California in swaddling-clothes, an infant born to be 
nursed eventually into the family of civilized nations, but it saw the seeds of lib- 
erty planted among the granite hills of New England, and Father Time write 
upon one of the mile-posts of eternity, "1769, the commencement of a brighter 
day for the children of men." 

The members of the several divisions were all, excepting those who died at 
sea, on the ground at San Diego, and Father Junrpero was not a man to waste 
time. In looking over his resources for accomplishing the work before him, 
he found that he had, including converted Indians that had accompanied him, about 
two hundred and fifty souls, and everything necessary for the founding of the three 
missions, the cultivation of the soil, grazing the land and exploring the coast, except 
sailors and provisions. So many of the former having died on the voyage, it was 
deemed advisable for those who remained to sail on the San Antonio for San Bias, to 
procure more seamen and supplies. They accordingly put to sea for that purpose on 
the ninth of July, and nine of the crew died before that port was reached. 

Formal possession was immediately taken of the country for Spain, and the 
next thing in order was to found a mission at San Diego. Possibly it will be inter- 
esting to the reader to know what the ceremony was that constituted the found- 
ing of a mission. Father Francis Palou, whose writings were published in 1787, 
thus describes it: — 

"They immediately set about taking possession of the soil in the name of our Catholic monarch, 
and thus laid the foundation of the mission. The sailors, muleteers and servants set about clear- 
ing away a place which was to serve as temporary church, hanging the bells (on the limb of a tree 
possibly) and forming a grand cross. * * * The venerable Father President blessed the holy 
water, and with this the rite of the church and then the holy cross; which, being adorned as usual, 
was planted in front of the church. Then its patron saint was named, and having chanted the 
first mass, the venerable president pronounced a most fervent discourse on the coming of the 
Holy Spirit and the establishment of the mission. The sacrifice of the mass being concluded, 
the Veni Creator was then sung; the want of an organ and other musical instruments being 
supplied by the continued discharge of firearms during the ceremony, and the want of incense, 
of which they had none, b\ the smoke of the muskets." 

After the establishment of a mission the next thing in order was the gaining 


of converts, and the practice being the same in Upper as in Lower California, will 
consequently require' no further description. 

Everything being in fine working order, the vessel San Antonio having sailed 
for seamen and supplies, and formal possession having been taken of the country, 
there remained only the necessity of entering upon the remaining object that had 
attracted these pioneers to California. Consequently, an expedition was fitted out 
under Governor Portala's command, to go overland in search of the harbor of 
Monterey, that had been for one hundred and sixty-six year* lost to the world. He 
started on the fourteenth of July, with all but six of the available force, except 
converts that had come with them from Lower California. These were left with Father 
Junipero and deemed by him sufficient for his protection and that of the mission to be 
founded on the sixteenth, showing a confidence in the natives that came near adding 
this to the already long list of disasters. 

Portala, with sixty-five persons in all, moved on up the coast, and reaching 
Monterey, planted a cross there, without knowing that he had found the place he was 
seeking. He passed on in his slow, tortuous way, up the country, until three and a 
half months had passed since his departure, when, October 30, he came upon a bay 
that Father Crespi, who accompanied the expedition and kept a journal, says, "they 
at oner recognized." What caused him to recognize it? Had they ever heard of it 
before? This is the first unquestioned record of the discovery of the San Francisco 
harbor. In all the annals of history there is no evidence of its ever having been seen 
before, except that sailing chart, dated 1740, and captured in 1742 with the galleon 
belono'ino- to the Jesuit Manila merchants. Yet the exception is evidence strong as 
holy writ that in 1740 the bay had been found, but the name of the first discoverer is 
lost to the world. 

Portala and his followers believed that a miracle had been performed, that the 
discovery was due to the hand of Providence, and that St. Francis had led them to 
tin- place. When they saAv it in all its land-locked slumbering grandeur, they 
remembered that, before leaving Mexico, Father Junipero had been grieved because 
the Visitator General Galvez had not placed their patron saint in the list, in selecting 
names for the missions to be founded in the new country, and when reminded of the 
omission by the sorrowing priest, he had replied solemnly, as from matured reflection : 
"If St. Francis wants a mission, let him show you a good port, and we will put one 
there." "A good port" had been found — one where the fleets of the world could ride 
in safety, and they said "St. Francis has led us to his harbor," and they called it 
"San Francisco Bay." Thus for the first time in history the name and locality were, 
unquestionably, united. 

The expedition, under California's first governor, then returned, starting November 
11, 1769, and arrived at San Diego, January, 24, 1770, where he first learned of the 
perils through which, during his absence, had passed those he had left behind. It will 
be remembered that Portala started north on the fourteenth of July, two days before 
the first mission in Upper California was founded at San Diego. This day was chosen 
as the one on whichto commence the work of Christianizing California, because on 
the sixteenth of July, five hundred and forty-seven years before, the Spanish armies 
had caused the triumph of the cross over the crescent in the old world, and the father 


deemed this the beginning of a victory of the cross over barbarism in the unexplored 
wilds of the great north-west. 

The first efforts at conversion were, of course, unsuccessful. The slow process of 
getting the Indians' confidence, and then learning their ways and language, had first 
to be gone through with. It would only be repetition to detail the manner in which 
this was done, as it was identical with that practiced by the Jesuits on the peninsula. 
There was this difference, however, that the Indians here cared nothing for food given 
them by the padres, and would not eat it; but they were quite willing to take any thing- 
else, cloth being their weakness. They went out into the bay on balsas, in the night, 
and cut a piece out of the sail of the vessel. They soon became tired of getting things 
by piecemeal, and undertook the same operation that had been attempted by Indians 
with Father Tierra at La Paz, ninety years before, and with similar results. They 
watched their opportunities, designing to take the little garrison unawares, and after 
having killed all, divide the property among themselves, and end the performance with 
a grand jubilee. Matters culminated just a month after the founding of the mission. 
Taking advantage of the absence of a priest and two soldiers, who had, temporarily, 
gone on board the ship, they suddenly fell upon the remaining force of four soldiers, 
two padres, a carpenter and a blacksmith. The latter being a brave and fearless man, 
led the defense, by rushing upon the enemy with the war-cry of "Long live the faith 
of Jesus Christ, and die, the dogs, his enemies!" The result was a defeat to the 
Indians, with severe loss in dead and wounded, and the missionaries found, after the 
enemy had retreated, that they, too, had not come through unscathed. One of their 
converted Indians had been killed, one wounded, and a soldier, a priest, and the brave 
blacksmith were also among the injured. 

This first battle in California occurred on the fifteenth of August, 1769. That day, 
on the other side of the world, was born, on an island in the Mediterranean sea, that 
genius of war, that child of destiny, who, in after years, made toys of crowns and 
changed the map of Europe; a child, who lived to see his scheme of universal empire 
fade away, and his victorious star go down in blood, as the Old Guard faltered, then 
recoiled, and finally melted away in that terrible charge at Waterloo. 

Another incident occurred soon after this, that shows how earnest and unyielding 
was the determination of those pioneer priests to subdue the Indians by kindness, 
except where absolute war' was declared. Their first friend, among the tribes of 
Upper California, was a boy, who finally ventured among the Spaniards, and, by 
presents and affectionate treatment, was so far won over as to eventually become 
the means of communicating with his tribe. As soon as this had been accomplished, 
Father Junipero explained to him, by some means, that if the parents of a child would 
bring it to him for baptism, it would become, by putting a little water on its head, a 
a son of God and of Father Junij>ero, as well as a kindred of the soldiers, and that 
they would give the child clothes, take care of it, and see that it always had j)lenty to 
eat, etc. The boy went among his people, to whom he explained what the father had 
told him, and they finally made up a little plan to play a practical joke upon the good 
priest. They sent back the boy to tell the Spaniards that they would bring a child to 
be baptized, and the father's heart was made glad, in thinking that he was soon to 
begin the harvest of souls. He called the garrison together, assembled at the church 



the christian Indians, who had come from Mexico with him, and requested one of the 
soldiers to act as godfather in the coming ceremony of papoose baptism into the 
Catholic Church. He awaited for a time with glowing face and overflowing heart 
for the approach of those parents with the infant. They soon came, followed by a large 
concourse of their friends, and handed the little candidate, with big, black, twinkling- 
eves spread wide with wonder, to the father, signifying their desire to proceed with the 
baptism. He took the little fellow, put clothes upon him, and was proceeding with 
the ceremony, having gone so far in it as to be in the act of raising the water to finish 
the operation, by pouring it upon the child's head, when the almost Catholic baby was 
suddenly snatched from his arms, leaving the astonished padre with the water sus- 
pended, while the laughing Indians rushed' away with the infant, The soldiers were 
infuriated at this insult to religion and to their beloved priest, and would have taken 
summary vengeance on the scoffers, but were prevented from molesting them. In after 
years, whenever this incident was mentioned in his presence, tears of sorrow would come 
to the eyes of this zealous missionary, as he thought of the sad end of that early hope. 

The whole scheme of occupying northern or Upper California came near proving 
a failure, because of the want of ability to sustain themselves, until crops could be 
grown in the country sufficient to make the enterprise self-sustaining. Governor 
Portala, after his return from the discovery of the San Francisco bay, took an inven- 
tory of supplies. He found that there remained only enough to last the exi^edition 
until March, and decided, that if none arrived by sea before the twentieth of that 
month, to abandon the enterprise and return to Mexico. The day came, and with 
it, in the offing, in plain view of all, a vessel. Preparations had been completed 
for the abandonment, but it w;is postponed because of the apj)earance of the outlying 
ship. The next day it was gone, and the colony believed then that a miracle had 
been performed, and their patron saint had permitted the scene of the vessel that they 
might know that help was coming. In a few days the San Antonio sailed into the 
harbor with abundant stores, and they learned that the vision they had looked upon 
was that vessel herself; she having been forced, by adverse winds, out to sea again, 
nfter coming in sight of land. 

Upon the arrival of the San Antonio, two other expeditions set out, one by sea 
and one by land, in search of Monterey harbor, the land force in charge of Governor 
Portala. The party by sea was accompanied by Father President Junipero, who 
writes of that voyage, and its results, as follows: 

"My Dearest Friend and Sir: — On the thirty-first day of May, by the favor of God, after a 
rather painful voyage of a month and a half, this packet, San Antonio, arrived and anchored in this 
horrible port of Monterey, which is unaltered in any degree from what it was when visited by the 
expedition of Don Sebastian Viscaino, in the year 1603." 

He goes on to state that he found the governor awating him, having reached the 
place eight days earlier. He then describes the manner of taking posession of the land 
for the crown on the third day of August, This ceremony was attended by salutes 
from the battery on board ship, and discharges of musketry by the soldiers, until the 
Indians in the vicinity were so thoroughly frightened at the noise as to cause a stam- 
pede among them for the interior, from whence they were afterward enticed with difi- 
culty. The interesting account closes with the following, to us, strange words : 


"We proceed to-morrow to celebrate the feast, and make the procession of 'Corpus Christi,' 
(though in a very poor way), in order to scare away whatever little devils there jwssibly may be in this 
land " 

What a lamentable failure in the good father's pious design, possibly due to the 
poor way in which it was done. The nineteenth century has demonstrated that those 
little fellows have grown amazingly, and multiplied beyond belief on the Pacific Coast 
since that time. 

After the establishment of this second mission, called San Carlos, which soon 
afterward was moved to the river Carmelo, a third, the San Antonio de Padua, was 
contemplated, and finally located July 14, 1771, about thirty-five miles south of 
Soledad, on the Antonio river, and about twenty-five miles from the coast. At this 
mission occurred the first instance of irrigation in California. In 1780, when the 
wheat was in full bloom, there came so severe a frost that it "became as dry and 
withered as if it had been stubble left in the field in the month of August." This 
was a great misfortune, for the padres as well as the converts depended upon this 
crop for food. The priests caused a ditch to be constructed that turned water upon 
the field, which, giving new life to the roots, caused young shoots to spring up, and 
a bountiful harvest, the largest ever known to them, was gathered. The priest called 
it a miracle, the Indians believed it to be one, and the consequence was a second 
harvest for the church, one of converts this time, as the result of the first irrigation 
attempted in California. Possibly, it is irrigation, that the Christian churches stand 
in need of among us now. 

The mission of San Gabriel was founded soon after that of. San Antonio, the 
ceremony of establishment being performed on the following eighth of September. 
The point selected was about eight miles north of Los 'Angeles. Another miracle was 
supposed to have been worked at the founding of this mission. In fact, those old 
padres, pious souls, seemed to believe that everything out of the ordinary every-day 
occurrences was necessarily of supernatural origin ; either from God or the devil. 
When they unfurled their banner at San Gabriel, before an assembled host of yelling 
Indians, whom they were afraid were about to attack them, the astonished natives 
beheld the picture of the Virgin Mary that was painted upon it, and mistook it, 
probably, for a pretty woman. Thinking it was time to "put on style," their undig- 
nified howling ceased, and running up before the vision of loveliness, cast beads at the 
base of the banner, as an offering of their respect. Then,- like sensible Indians, they 
brought something for the pretty woman to eat. We see nothing miraculous in this. 
The average Californian, in our time, will give up a row, put on his good behavior, 
and cast offerings at the feet of female loveliness, if it happens around when he is on 
the war-path. 

In the meantime, Governor Portala had returned to Mexico, bearer of the welcome 
intelligence that Monterey had been re-discovered, that a much finer bay had also 
been found farther north, that they had named it after St. Francis, and that three 
missions had been established in the new land. Upon receipt of the news, the 
excitement in Mexico was intense. Guns were fired, bells were rung, congratulatory 
speeches were made, and all New Spain was happy, because of the final success of the long- 
struggle of their country to get a footing north of the peninsula. After the establish- 


ment of the San Gabriel mission, the events transpiring, for a time, were those 
incidental to the retention of what had already been acquired, and preparation for 
possessing more. 

In September, 1772, the mission of San Luis Obispo was established between 
Los Angeles and Monterey, and then the father president returned to Mexico. He 
procured over twelve thousand dollars worth of supplies, and came back by sea, 
accompanied by several new missionaries and some soldiers, arriving at San Diego, 
March 13, 1773, to find his people on the verge of starvation, living upon milk, roots 
and herbs. Before leaving Mexico, he had divided his party, sending the soldiers 
under command of Capt. Juan Bautista Anza. They were to go by way of Sonora, 
and the Gila and Colorado rivers, to open a route by land, that communication in 
future with the home government might not depend wholly upon the treacherous sea. 
Upon the success in establishing this overland route to Monterey, depended the found- 
ing of the missions of San Francisco and Santa Clara, that Father Junrpero so much 
desired. Anza's company arrived safely, about the same time as did the division by 
sea, it being the pioneer overland journey from Mexico to California, and the 
descendants of the captain of that expedition are still to be found as residents of the 
Golden State. 

During the same month of March, a party, under guidance of Father Crespi, 
going overland from Monterey, passed through where Santa Clara now stands, up 
along the east side of the bay, and finally arrived on the thirtieth of that month, where 
Antioch now stands. Thus they became the first of civilized men to look upon the 
stream that forty-six years after was named San Joaquin. 

In 1774, Captain Anza returned to Mexico, to report the successful establishment 
of the route to Monterey, intending to come back as soon as possible with the necessary 
means to establish the northern missions. 

There was, in 1774, another occurrence that it will not do to pass silently by, as 
it brings into strong relief the contrast between first intentions and final acts of the 
Catholic clergy in their spiritual conquest of the natives. The mission of San Diego 
was attacked at night, on the fourth of November, 1774, by a large and well organized 
body of Indians, numbering about one thousand. They had been incited to hostilities 
by the representation of two apostate converts from one of the tribes, who, fleeing 
to the interior, gave their jieople far and wide to understand that the missionaries 
contemplated using force in their efforts to subject the Indians to an adoption of the 
white man's religion. The battle was stubbornly contested by the tribes; but they 
were beaten off with severe loss after having killed three of the whites, one of whom 
was a priest, and wounded the balance of the defenders. This was the last attempt to 
destroy the missions. Palou, in his account of this affair, says that the Indians were 
incited to the act by the devil, who used the two apostate converts- as the means, causing 
them to tell falsehoods to their -people in representing "that the fathers intended to put 
an end to the gentiles, by making them become Christians by forced 

Although the proposition of force in conversion seems to have been, (according 
to Father Palou, who was the priest that afterwards had charge of the San Francisco 
mission), the devil's suggestion, it was afterwards practiced by the fathers. 

A notable instance of this kind occurred in 1826, when a party was sent up into 


the country, along the San Joaquin river, to capture some subjects for conversion. 
They met with defeat at the hands of a tribe, under the leadership of a chief called 
Estanislao, whose rancheria was where Knight's Ferry now is. The Spanish lost three 
soldiers killed and several wounded in this battle; ancl returning, a new expedition 
was fitted out, including all the available force of the garrison {presidio) of San 
Francisco, the San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Clara missions. The Estanislao 
country was again invaded, and the result was a defeat and severe chastisement of the 
Indians, with a loss of one soldier killed by the explosion of his musket. They 
succeeded in carrying off, for the good of their souls, some forty-four captives, most of 
whom were women and children. 

The two battles gave the Spaniards a wholesome fear of the up-country tribes, 
and they named the river, where these battles were fought, the Stanislaus, after the 
chief Estanislao, whose tribe lived upon its banks. The Indian name for that stream 
was La-kish-um-na. The prisoners were taken to the missions, and summarily 
transformed into Christians in the following way. We quote from Captain Beechey as 
follows : 

"I happened to visit the mission about this time and saw these unfortunate beings under 
tuition. They were clothed in blankets and arraigned in a row before a blind Indian, who under- 
stood their dialect, and was assisted by an alcalde to keep order. Their tutor began by desiring 
them to kneel, informing them that he was going to teach them the names of the persons composing 
the Trinity, and that they were to repeat in Spanish what he dictated. The neophytes being thus 
arranged, the speaker began: ' Santissima, Trinidada, Dios, Jesu, Christo, Espiritu, Santo,' pausing 
between each name to listen if the simple Indians, who had never spoken a Spanish word before, 
pronounced it correctly or anything near the mark. After they had repeated these names satis- 
factorily, their blind tutor, after a pause, added ' Santos,' and recapitulated the names of a great 
many saints, which finished the morning's tuition. 

If, as not unfrequently happens, any of the captured Indians "show a repugnance to conversion, it is 
the practice to imprison them for a few days, and then to allow them to breathe a little fresh air in 
a walk around the mission, to observe the happy mode of life of their converted countrymen ; after 
which they are again shut up, and thus continue incarcerated until they declare their readiness to 
renounce the religion of their forefathers." 

In 1769, those zealous, truly Christian fathers came among those people to bring 
heathen by love and kindness to the foot of the cross, erected as an emblem of God's 
love for humanity. In 1826, only fifty-seven years later, the successors of those 
missionaries marched that same people as captives to the foot of that cross, and forced 
them to homage the emblem of their slavery. 

Father Junipero, in anticipation of the early return of Captain Anza, dispatched 
the packet San Carlos as a precautionary measure, to see if the bay of San Francisco 
could be entered from the ocean; a feat that the little craft had accomplished in June, 
1775. She was a small vessel, not exceeding two hundred tons burden, this pioneer of 
the fleets that have since anchored in that harbor. In that memorable June, while 
the waters of this great bay of the Pacific were being first awakened to its future 
destiny, away to the east where the sun rises, where the Atlantic waves kiss the shores 
of America, a Washington was taking command of the Continental army, and a people 
were calling through the battle smoke of Bunker Hill for liberty. 

The San Carlos returned to Monterey with the report of her entrance into the 
harbor and succeeding discoveries, including that of the bay of San Pablo, "into which 


emptied the great river of our Father St. Francis, which was fed by five other rivers, 
all of them copious streams, flowing through a plain so wide that it was bounded only 
by the horizon." Rather a luminous description of the Sacramento river and valley. 

The time had come, so much desired by Father Junipero, when missions could be 
extended to the great bay in the north. Captain Anza had returned from Mexico 
with all that was required tor this purpose. The preparatory expeditions, by land and 
sea, had returned with the necessary information as to the country, its character and 
geography, so that plans could be formed with assurance of precision in execution. 
Consequently, on the seventh of June, 1770, the father president started from Monterey 
overland for the harbor at the northern frontier. A packet boat was dispatched at the 
same time, laden with necessaries for the enterprise. On the twenty-seventh of June, 
the land party arrived, at what is now called Washerwoman's bay, on the north beach 
of San Francisco. On the eighteenth of August, the packet arrived, and on the 
seventeenth of September, the presidio was located. An expedition, to spy out the 
land, was at once dispatched. As usual, it went in two divisions, one by water and the 
other by land. The rendezvous was to have been Point San Pablo, but the land party 
entered the mountains east of the bay, and soon found themselves on the banks of the 
San Joaquin river and failed to connect. On the tenth of October, the mission was 
founded at San Francisco. After this came the San Juan Capistrano, and then Santa 
Clara. With the founding of the latter ended the establishing of missions by that 
faithful Christian missionary, Father Junipero Serro. 1 He died near Monterey, in 
1782, after having planted in the garden of the west, for future generations, the seeds 
of civilization that should, like the little seeds mentioned in holy writ, grow to become 
"a great tree," under the shadowy branches of which should gather, in future time, the 
unborn millions that would forget the zealous old pioneer of the cross, whose life had 
been a sacrifice — forgotten in time to be remembered in eternity. 

It is not our intention to give a history in full of the California missions, for that, 
in itself, would fill a volume; and having placed before the reader the first and most 
important events, the balance will be passed with brief mention. Within the forty-six 
years, that succeeded the first settlement at San Francisco, there were established in 
California twelve other missions, making twenty-one in all, which, in accordance with 
the plan of Spain, were located along the coast, making a chain of occupied territory 
that would serve to keej) off foreign settlement. The situations selected were, of course, 
made with reference to the soil, as upon its productions maintenance must eventually 
depend. Where the boundary limits of one ended, another began, so that the coast 
was all owned by the missions from La Paz, on the peninsula, to San Francisco. The 
interior was the great store-house from which to gather, in the beginning, proselytes 
to the Catholic faith — in the end, slaves to work their plantations. 

North of the bay, the Russians interfered with the general plan, by establishing 
a settlement, in 1812, in what is now Sonoma county. This was followed by an 
attempt, on the part of the padres, to surround the invaders by a cordon of missions, 

1 The justly-praised indefatigable missionary priest, who founded the first nine missions in Alta Oalifornia, died in that of 
San Carlos del Carmels, at the age of 69 years. His baptismal name, "Junipero," is identical with the Latin word Juniper us, the 
definition of which is "Arbor est crescens in desertis, oujvs umbrum serpentis fuguint, et ideo in umbra ajus homines secure 
dormiunt." (Juniper is a iree that grows in the desert, the shade of which is shunned by serpents, but under which men sleep in 
safety. — Note by Alexander Forbes. 


and, in pursuance of the plan, San Rafael, in 1817, and San Francisco de Solano, in 
1823, were established; but further efforts in this line were cut short by the "march 
of human events." The time had come when the system, instead of being an aid, was 
an impediment to the elevation of the human race, and it was forced to give way. 
Then commenced its decline, followed soon by its passage from the stage of action. 

The number of converted Indians, in 1802, as given by Humboldt, was 7,945 
males and 7,617 females, making a total of 15,562. The other inhabitants being 
estimated at 1,300, not including wild Indians, making the total population of California 
at that time 16,862. The term "wild Indians" was applied to such as were not reduced 
to control by the padres. 



We had thought to drop the history of events in California at the point, where 
their narration led up to the time, when the attempt was resumed to make discoveries 
on the coast farther north. That point has been reached and passed, having occurred 
in 1774, when Juan Perez, a Spaniard, reached latitude 53° north, and discovered 
Nootka Sound on his return down the coast. But it having occurred to us that the 
reader might feel an interest in following, to the result, this attempt by a church to 
subdue and occupy the country; we consequently give in this chapter a glance at the 

The cloud, no larger than a man's hand, commenced to gather over the missions 
in 1824, when Mexico became a republic, having declared her independence from Spain 
two years before. The spirit that resulted in making Mexico a free country, was one 
calculated to lessen the force of traditions that had bound up the church with the state, 
thus weakening the power of the former. Heretofore, all things had been made 
subservient in California to the purpose of making a Catholic of the Indian. In 
pursuance of this idea, he was either persuaded or forced to go through the forms of 
worship; but nothing was done to develop a higher mental standard. In fact, the 
opposite was the result. They were taken care of like any other slaves, and such 
qualities as were found calculated to make them self-sustaining were eradicated, 
probably without having such an intention, yet doing it effectually. It was accomplished 
by the system of absolute dependence, forced by the padres in their manner of control 
and kind of instruction given to them, that were only calculated to impress a feeling 
of inferiority. Nothing could be accomplished in California by a member of the white 
race, tending in any way to interfere with the general plan of proselytism. The 
territory was claimed for the Indian, and the padres were his masters. The European 


was not encouraged by them to own or settle upon land, for it might become an element 
of discord in the country. The soldiers that protected them in their operations were 
not allowed to marry, except in rare cases, as the offspring or the parent might admit the 
idea into their heads that they, too, were of consequence in the general plan of the Creator. 

Such a state of things could not last. The world was becoming more enlighted 
and a system that stood in the path of progress must inevitably give way. 

The first blow dealt this Catholic body politic was by the Mexican congress, in 
the form of a colonization act, passed in August, 1824. In its provisions were some 
fair inducements for a settlement of the country, and a settlement necessarily meant 
ruin to the missions; for the interests of settlers were not in harmony with them. 
Four years later their secularization was ordered, and grants of lands were authorized 
as homesteads to actual settlers, the territorial governor being the one authorized to 
issue the grant, subject to the approval of the legislature. There was a class of 
property in Mexico that had been obtained by the Jesuits from their friends, when 
they were operating on the peninsula, by donations, wills and otherwise, that had been 
invested in real estate; the product or interest of which was used yearly to support 
the missions, keeping the principal intact. When the Jesuits were banished from the 
kingdom this property was turned over to the Franciscans, and its proceeds had 
increased until the yearly income from it amounted to about $50,000. This was termed 
the pious fund, and a year before the secularization was ordered, $78,000 of it had 
Deen seized by the government in Mexico. This was the beginning, and the end came 
in 1842, when Santa Anna sold the balance to the house of Barrio and the Rubio 
Brothers, the proceeds finding its way into the government treasury. 

The legislation of 1824 began to have its effect in 1830. A party had sprung up, 
not friendly to the missions, and Governor Echeandia commenced to enforce the 
secularization laws that year; but the arrival of the new governor, Victoria, put a 
stop to the attempt. This was the beginning of the open struggle between the two 
parties, one for the maintenance, the other for the destruction of the missions. It 
continued with varying success until 1834, when a colonization scheme, set on foot by 
the home government, caused the padres to "see the hand- writing on the wall." This 
colony was formed with the purpose, on the part of the Mexican president, of placing 
in the colony's control the commerce of California, the missions to play. the part in the 
general scheme of the fabled ''goose that laid the golden egg." The project never 
reached its final purpose, for, with the usual promptness of Mexicans in changing their 
government, Santa Anna was made rjresident. He sent overland orders in haste, 
countermanding the whole jDlan; and Hijar, who was to have been governor of Cali- 
fornia under the new conditions, landed at San Diego, September 1, 1834, to find 
himself only the leader of a disappointed colony that had accompanied him to the 
country. He was sent, with his followers, north of San Francisco to the mission of 
San Francisco Solano, to make out as he best could, without power to carry out the 
original objects of the enter p rise. 

The brig in which this colony arrived, wrecked on the fourteenth of the following 
month in the harbor of Monterey, was the Natalia, the same that, February 26, 1815, 
had borne, in his flight from Elba, the great soldier of destiny, to read the decree of 
his fate at Waterloo. 


The priests, on learning how narrowly they escaped being robbed, concluded there 
was no longer any hope of final success in the struggle, and commenced to destroy what 
they had built up through the years of the past. The cattle " upon a thousand hills" 
were slaughtered only for their hides, the vineyards were permitted to go to waste, the 
olive groves were neglected, the missions were allowed to decay and the slaves (Indians) 
were turned loose to starve, steal or die. The California legislature, in 1840, appointed 
administrators, who took charge of the property, and a general system of plunder seemed 
to be the order of the day. 

In 1843, General Micheltorena restored the ruined mission establishments to the 
control of the padres, and in 1845 the end came, when what remained passed at an 
auction sale into the hands of whomsoever would buy. The last of those missionaries 
— Father Altomira, the missionary priest and founder of the mission of San Francisco 
Solano, otherwise known as Sonoma, who, in 1828, accompanied by Padre Ripol, of 
the mission of Santa Barbara, left California in the American brig Harbinger, for Bos- 
ton — was living, in 1860, at Tenneriffe, one of the Canary Islands. 

Thus passed from the country a system of occupation that paved the way for civil- 
ization. It was conceived in error, executed in blindness, and ended in disaster to the 
people it sought to benefit. It only served as a means by which another race gained a 
footing — to crush out and annihilate to the one that was found in the land. 

The annexed table is a history in itself. It represents the population and wealth 
of California in 1831. It will be observed that the total population was 23,025; of this 
number only 4,342 were of the free races, the balance of 18,683 being Indians, subject 
to the missions ; no account was taken of those running wild. 


















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In the original plan for occupation of the Californias, there were two distinct 
objects sought; one by the church, another by the statesman, and they formed a 
co-partnership, as each was essential to the other. The church sought to extend her 
influence and increase her membership; to this end all her energies were bent. The 
statesman reached out to secure for his nation a country that he believed would become 
a jewel in the crown of Spain, and was willing to aid the church if she would contribute 
to this end. 

The statesman would protect, by the military arm of his government, the priest 
who was to make of the Indian a convert, who, as such, would become a subject of 
Spain. With numerous converts there would be numerous subjects, bound by religious 
affinity, to defend their country against invasion by any other nation. Thus, a Spanish 
province would be created, and would become a bulwark of defense against encroach- 
ment by hostile nations upon the more southern possessions of the mother country. 

We have in previous chapters seen what the end was of the operations and design 
of the church, that it made slaves instead of citizens of its converts, and the disastrous 
results to the Indians; thus adding weakness instead of strength to the crown's 
defences, and in this way preventing the attainment of the result sought .to be 
accomplished by the statesman in his use of the church for political purposes. 

Let us now return to the effort put forth by Spain to extend her occuimtion to the 
fabled strait of Anian, that was supposed to mark the upper boundary of North 
America, and connect the Atlantic with the Pacific ocean. It should be born in mind 
that the kings of Castile had for a long time, hundreds of years, claimed the Pacific 
Coast of California, as far north as it might run, even though it extended beyond the 
strait of Anian. Alta, or Upper California, was the name by which they designated 


all the country on, or tributary to, this coast, north of the peninsula of California or 

The fact has already been noted that, in 1774, Juan Perez sailed north from 
Mexico on the Pacific Coast for exploration purposes, reaching latitude 53°. He 
returned from that point along the coast, until arriving at Nootka Sound, he gave to 
it the name of San Lorenzo. In 1778, Captain Cook, the celebrated English navigator, 
who was afterwards murdered by savages on the island of Hawaii, called it King 
George's Sound. 

In 1775, Bruno Heceta, accompanied by Perez, sent by the Mexican viceroy to 
explore the north west coast, cast anchor, on the tenth of June, off the shore in latitude 
41°, near Cape Mendocino, in a little cove, to which he gave the name of Trinidad. 
He remained there for nine days, re-fitting his vessel and, after erecting a cross near 
the shore, sailed on up the coast. Reaching the vicinity of Juan de Fuca Strait, 
adverse winds drove him back down to within eighty miles of the Columbia river, 
where he cast anchor between a small island and the main shore. Here he was 
assailed by Indians, several of his crew were killed, and the vessel narrowly escaped 
being taken by the enemy. Because of this calamity, the island was called " Isla 
de Dolores," or Island of Grief, but is now known as Destruction Island. A publication, 
in 1845, by T. J. Farnham, containing proofs entitling the United States to the terri- 
tory of Oregon, records that: 

"On the 14th of August, 1775, Heceta discovered a promontory, which he called Cape San 
Roque, and immediately south of it in latitude 46°, an opening in the land, which was either a harbor 
or tin- mouth of a river. This opening, represented in Spanish charts by the names of Entrada de 
Heceta, Entrada de Ascencion and Rio de San Roque, was undoubtedly the mouth of the Columbia 
river, which was thus discovered by the Spaniards." 

The history of Oregon and California, by Robert Greenhow, contains the follow- 
ing upon this point, on page 120: 

"On the opening in the coast thus discovered, Heceta bestowed the name of Ensenada de 
Asuncion — Assumption Inlet; calling the point on its north side Cape San Roque, and that on the 
south Cape Frondoso — Leafy Cape. On the charts, published at Mexico, soon after the conclusion 
of the voyage, the entrance is, however, called Ensenada de Heceta — Heceta' s Inlet and Rio de San 
Roque — River of St. Roc. It was, undoubtedly, the mouth of the greatest river on the western side 
of America ; tbe same, which was, in 1792, first entered by the ship Columbia, from Boston, under 
the command of Robert Oray, and has ever since been called the Columbia. The evidence of its 
first discovery by Heceta, on the loth of August, 1775, is unquestionable." 

A small schooner that had accompanied Heceta, under command of Bodega, 
whose pilot was Antonio Maurello, being separated from the main vessel in the voyage, 
had continued north until reaching latitude 58°, near where they discovered the peak 
that three years later was named Mount Edgecomb by Captain Cook. The Spaniard 
had called it San Jacinto, and he landed there to take possession of the country in his 
sovereign's name, and then he returned to Monterey. 

During the three succeeding years, English, Portuguese and Austrian ships traded 
for furs along the north west coast of America, following in the track of Spanish 
discoveries previously made. 

The long continued reports, coupled with the advantage to England, of a northern 
passage around, or through, America to India, finally had its effect, and Capt. James 
Cook was sent by that power to hunt for its western outlet. He arrived in the vicinity 




of Cape Mendocino, in March, 1778, whence sailing northerly along the coast he event- 
ually passed Behring's Strait that separates Asia from America. He failed to find either 
the Columbia or entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait, but, as before mentioned, seeing, gave 
the name of King George to Nootka Sound, which it failed to retain ; and fastened that 
of Edgecomb to Bodega and Maurello's "San Jacinto" mountain. He accomplished 
much towards correcting the geography of the North Pacific, and discovered one of the 
Sandwich Islands called Hawaii, on which he was murdered by the natives, February 
16th, 1779. He was succeeded in command of the expedition by Capt. Charles Clark, 
Avho died, in the following August, when Lieut. John Gore assuming command, returned 
by way of Canton to England. 


During this voyage, by the English, along the North West Coast and into the 
Arctic Ocean, there had been a large quantity of fur purchased from the Indians by 
sailors, to use for clothing and bedding in the colder latitudes. This had not been done 
with a view to traffic, but, when those ships reached Canton, the sailors found themselves 
unexpectedly in the possession of wealth, received as the price of their purchases from 
the North American Indians. They were anxious to return at once to the fur produc- 
ing country, to continue the speculation, but the officers refused to do so. The refusal 
came near causing a mutiny among the sailors, who finally yielded, considering it a lost 
opportunity, and returned to England to find their country involved in a protracted 
war with the Americans, the French, and with Spain. The advantages and wealth, 
thus discovered in this fur mine of the North West Coast, were not made known to the 
world, because of the existing wars, until 1784; when their publication directed the ad- 
venturous mariners from various countries to this new field of trade. Vessels under 
Portuguese, English, French, and American flags soon congregated here, and the Rus- 
sians were extending their line of fur trading posts down the coast from Behring's 
Strait, eight of which had been established prior to the first arrival of Captain Gray at 
Nootka Sound, in September, 1788. The outlook was not a cheerful one to the Span- 
iards, who, in their protest against Russian encroachment, in 1790, claimed " Spanish 
America" as far north as Prince William Sound. Indications pointed strongly towards 
trouble with foreign powers, in her attempt to hold the North West Coast. 

It will be remembered, that, with the assistance of the Catholic church, the viceroy 
of" Mexico had at this time occupied the country for thirteen years, as far north as San 
Francisco Bay, where a mission had been founded, in 1775. The time had come, when 
it required something more than the mere ceremony of planting a flag and cross with 
an inscription, stating that possession had been taken, at a certain time, in the name of 
the Spanish King, to hold in fact, what they claimed in theory ; and it was determined 
to establish a military post at Nootka Sound. For this purpose, Estevan J. Martinez 
sailed from San Bias, arriving at that place May 6th, 1789, where he found two fur trad- 
ding vessels at anchor. One of them was under Portuguese colors, in charge of Cap- 
tain Viana; the other being the Columbia, an American vessel, commanded by Cap- 
tain Robert Gray. 

Martinez, after informing those commanders that he had come to take possession 


in the name of the Spanish king, commenced the erection of fortifications on an island 
in Friendly cove at the head of the Sound. He seized the Portuguese vessel with her 
crew, and then let them go. A second craft, under the same colors, coming in a few 
days later, was also captured, and its crew Avas sent to Macao as passengers with 
Capt. Robert Gray. This little breeze had hardly subsided, before two other vessels, 
owned by the Macao merchants and King George's Sound Company, sailed into the 
harbor for the purpose of taking formal possession of the country in the name of 
England's sovereign. Martinez informed Capt. John Colnett, the officer commanding, 
that Spain was already in possession, and then seizing both vessels, sent their crews 
as prisoners to San Bias in Mexico. Englishmen were interested in the captured 
property, and the affair, being referred to the British government, was made the pre- 
text for a demand upon Spain by that power, which resulted in the treaty of Escurial, 
signed in 1790. 

In this treaty, Spain was forced to make liberal concessions, among which was 
not that of sovereignty over the territory. She agreed to re-imburse the owners for 
loss of property, restore the house at Nootka Sound — that Meares, who was claiming 
damage, had himself destroyed before the Spaniards arrived — and permit a joint 
occupancy by English subjects for trade purposes of the North West Coast, with equal 
rights to fish in the North Pacific or trade upon her shores. This joint occujiancy 
included regions not already settled by Spain, such as California by the missions up 
to the bay of San Francisco. It was upon the stipulations of this treaty that England, 
at a later date, mainly relied for her claim of jurisdiction over Oregon. 

Capt. Robert Gray, after delivering his Portuguese passengers at Macao, returning 
to Boston by way of Canton, again came to the Pacific Coast in 1792; and, as he 
passed up along its shores, was detained nine days in an ineffectual attempt to enter 
what he then believed was, and afterwards discovered to be, a river. April 29th, but a 
short time after this, he spoke an English vessel, under command of Vancouver, and 
told that officer of his opinion in regard to the locality mentioned. The Briton took 
issue with the conclusions of Capt. Gray, for the reason that he had sailed by that 
place but two days before, and, seeing the foam capjied surf, had found no opening, 
consequently doubted the proximity of a river. Twelve days later, Captain Gray had 
passed the breakers with his ship, Columbia, and anchored in the mouth of this stream 
that had, for seventeen years since Heceta first declared its existence, baffled the search 
of navigators; and he gave to it the name of his vessel that had first crossed the 
barriers to its. entrance. 

Vancouver had come to the Pacific Coast with a double object ; for exploration 
purposes under authority of the British government, and to receive the property to be 
restored to the English, in pursuance of the treaty mentioned. He reached Nootka 
Sound, where the Spanish were found in possession; but a disagreement arose as to 
what should be restored to the English, and Vancouver left that place without taking 
possession of anything; both j)arties referring the points of difference to their respective 
governments for settlement. No action was ever taken upon the matter, however, and 
the Spanish never gave possession to the English. 1 

1 Farnhata, page 18, and History of Great Britain by Belsham, volume eight, page 337. 


Of all the attempts made towards geographical investigation and territorial acqui- 
sition on this coast, up to the beginning of the present century, there was but one bv 
land, north of San Francisco. This was by an enploye of the Northwest Fur Com- 
pany, named Alexander Mackenzie, a Scotchman, who, starting from Athabasca lake, 
ascended Peace river, crossed the rocky mountains, and reached the Pacific ocean in 
latitude 52° 30, on the twenty-second of July, 1793. 


The time having come in the chronology of events, when it is necessary to intro- 
duce matters that mark a new era in the history of this coast, it may not be amiss to 
briefly review that which has already been narrated in the foregoing pages. 

The Pacific ocean was dicovered by a Spaniard, and, from the peninsula of Lower 
California up the coast to the bay of San Francisco, was taken possession of and settled 
by that people, prior to 1776, the year that American Independence was born. In 
1713, the treaty of Utrecht was signed by several powers in Europe, including France, 
Spain and England, in which the latter nation guaranteed to Spain the exclusive 
sovereignty to all the possessions she claimed in the Pacific ocean, which included the 
entire north west coast of America; and, this was after the famous expedition of Sir 
Francis Drake. This left England without a claim to territory adjacent to the Pacific 

Repenting of this, she sought in 1790, to gain a foothold in the country she had 
by solemn treaty bound herself to keep away from, by demanding redress for the 
punishment of some of her subjects, who had been violating the law of nations, in 
their operation at Nootka sound. She failed, however, to gain any sovereign rights 
by this transaction, which is evidenced in the treaty of Escurial signed that year, and 
the after failure, by Vancouver or any other party for Great Britain, to take such 
possession as was conceded in that treaty. This left England, at the close of the 
eighteenth century, with no rights on this coast, except for her subjects to become 
traders here; a privilege similar to that conceded between all civilized nations to each 
others citizens at this time. Whatever right England has to territory west of the 
Rocky mountains was gained after the beginning of the nineteenth century. 

England, through Sir Francis Drake's landing on the coast, had set up a notice of 
claim to the country, and later had waived any benefits from this act by a treaty. She 
had, in 1790, attempted to gain a foothold, and failed by another treaty. She had 
made a few discoveries, but without taking formal possession either of the localities 
discovered, or the country at large, and one of her subjects, named Mackenzie, had 
crossed the continent by land. Thus stood Great Britain's rights in 1800. 

An American had discovered localities on the coast, had, also, found the Columbia 
river, but had laid no claim to this territory in favor of his Government because of 
these facts. 

Spain, discovering, had first explored this coast, had settled it north to San Fran- 
cisco, had taken possession by a military post at Nootka, and formal possession in 
various places and at various times. She had been guaranteed in this claim by treaties ; 
had never ceased to insist upon her right to it, but had temporarily withdrawn her 


Nootka occupancy; and actual possession, north of San Francisco, was entirely 
abandoned, except by the Russians, in 1800. 



The colonists, by a formal treaty, gained their independence and a separate nation- 
ality distinct from Great Britain in 1783, and the United States became one among the 
family of nations. Twenty years prior to this, by the treaty of Versaills, England 
had ceded all of her possessions in America lying west of the Mississippi riyer to 
France. By this conveyance, the latter became owner of whatever had belonged to 
her rival lying between the Pacific ocean and the Mississippi river, south of the 49th 
parallel, the line now separating British possessions from the United States. 1 In 
1803 France conveyed her right to this territory to the United States by what was 
known a,s the Louisiana purchase, and the following year an expedition to explore the 
newly acquired possessions was fitted out by our Government and sent overland to the 
Pacific Coast under charge of 


The expedition led by these two gallant officers into the unexplored wilds lying 
to the west in North America, regarding which comparatively nothing was known, was 
of that wild, reckless nature peculiarly calculated to surround its members with a halo 
of romantic interest. It was composed of nine young men from Kentucky, fourteen 
soldiers, two French watermen, an interpreter, hunter, and a negro servant, making in 
all, including two officers, thirty persons. They started in May, 1804, and sj)ent their 
first winter on the Missouri river, in what is now Montana. The following ninth of 
September found them camped at the mouth of a stream they called "Traveler's Best" 
— its present name being Lou-lou fork — that empties into the Bitterroot river, near 
Missoula, in Montana. Bitterroot is the modern name for the river, of which Captain 
Lewis records that : 2 " We gave the name of Captain Clarke, he being the first white 
man who had ever visited its waters." 

On the eleventh of September the party commenced its passage of the Bitterroot 
mountains by ascending Lou-lou fork. They followed what now is known as the Lolo 
trail, and, after suffering severely from cold and hunger in the mountains, reached, on the 
twentieth, a village of Nez Perces on a plain about fifteen miles from the south fork of 
Clearwater river. Captain Clarke was forced to remain in this village for a day on account 

1 See Story Com., vol. 1, p. 17 ; also, Farnham's discussion of the Oregon question, p. 62. 

2 Lewis and Clarke's Tiavels, vol. 2, p. 193. 

OREGON.. 37 

sickness caused by over eating, when he continued his journey in the direction of the 
stream mentioned. He found the chief, "Twisted-hair" living on an island in the 
river, which was aDout one hundred and sixty yards wide and full of shoals. The 
bottom land on each side of the stream was narrow, back of which towered the bluffs 
from where he had descended on a trail some three miles long to reach this place. 

The name Koos-koos-kee, erroneously supposed to be a Nez Perce word meaning 
clearwater and to be the Indian name of the river, was given to it. P. B. Whitman, 
the interpreter for the Nez Perce agency, accounts for this error in the following way : 
The Nez Perces, probably, in trying to explain to Lewis and Clarke that there were 
two large streams running through their country, the smaller of which was the one 
they saw, and the larger the one now called Snake, repeated the words " Koots-koots- 
kee" and pointed at the visible stream, meaning "This is the smaller," from which the 
whites inferred that this was its Indian name. Kaih-kaih-koosh is the Nez Perce word 
signifying clear water. 

On the twenty second Clarke went back to meet Captain Lewis, who was in the 
rear advancing with the main party, and they all met in the village on the plain first 
mentioned. Of this meeting they record that : 

" As we approached the village, most of the women, though apprised of our being expected, 
fled with their children into the neighboring woods. The men, however, received us without any 
apprehension, ani gave us a plentiful supply of provisions. The plains were now crowded with 
Indians, who came to see the persons of the whites and the strange things they brought with them ; 
but as our guide was perfectly a stranger to their language, we could converse by signs only. 

" Monday, 23 (September, 1805). — The chiefs and warriors were all assembled this morning, 
and we explained to them where we came from, the objects of our visiting them, and our pacific 
intentions towards all the Indians. This, being conveyed by signs, might not have been perfectly 
comprehended, but appeared to give perfect satisfaction. We now gave a medal to two of the 
chiefs, a shirt in addition to the medal already received by the Twisted-hair, and delivered a flag 
and a handkerchief for the grand chief on his return. To these were added a knife, a handkerchief, 
and a small piece of tobacco for each chief. The inhabitants did not give us any provisions gratuit- 
ously. * * * The men exchanged a few old canisters for dressed elk skins, of which they made 
shirts. Great crowds of natives were around us all night, but we have not yet missed anything 
except a knife and a few other articles stolen yesterday from a shot-pouch." 

They had been traveling while subsisting upon short rations, principally of horse 
flesh, until they were so reduced and famished that many, not being able to control 
themselves when plenty was obtained from the Indians, eat so much that it made them sick. 
On the twenty-fourth, they resumed their journey, and reached a larger island on the 
river "a little below" the one where "Twisted-hair" had been found, which was about 
five miles above the mouth of the north fork of Clearwater. Concerning this, and the 
deplorable condition of the party at that time, their journal of explorations contains 
the following: 

" Captain Lewis and two of the men were taken very ill last evening, and to-day he could 
scarcely sit on his horse, while other's were obliged to be put on horse-back and some, from extreme 
weakness and pain, were forced to lie down along side of the road for some time. * * 

" Wednesday, 25. The weather was very hot and oppressive to the party, most of whom are 
now complaining of sickness. Our situation, indeed, rendered it necessary to husband our remain- 
ing strength, and it was determined to proceed down the river in canoes. Capt. Clarke, therefore, 
set out with the Iwisted-hair , and two young men, in quest of timber for canoes. As he went 
down the river, he crossed, at the distance of a mile, a creek from the right, which, from the rocks 


which obstructed its passage, he called Eockdam river. The hills along the river are high and 
steep; the low grounds are narrow, and the navigation of the river embarrassed by two rapids. At 
the distance of three miles further he reached two nearly equal forks of the river, one of which 
flowed in from the north. ******* He now crossed the south fork and returned to 
the camp on the south side, through a narrow pine bottom the greater part of the way, in which 
was found much fine timber for canoes. ********** 

" Thursday, 26. Having resolved to go down to some spot calculated for building canoes, we 
set out early this morning and proceeded five miles, and encamped on low ground on the south 
opposite the forks of the river." 

From the foregoing description, Ave leave the reader who is acquainted with this 
locality, to identify the point where Lewis and Clarke constructed their five canoes, in 
which they embarked October seventh, for the Pacific ocean. It was evidently on the 
south side of Clearwater, at the point where the north fork enters that stream. 

In passing down this river, they noted three creeks as flowing into it from the 
south, and two from the north; to one of which the name of "Colter," a member of 
the party was given. That stream is now known as Potlatch creek, and it is to be 
regretted that its old name has not been retained. The Clearwater must have been at 
a very low stage at the time, as nine islands and thirty-nine rapids were mentioned 
before reaching Snake river, in passing over a. distance, according to their notes, of 
fifty-nine miles. 

Up to this time, October 10, 1805, the party had been subsisting on roots, fish 
and horse meat, with rarely a deer, and occasionally a crow or a wolf; but, having left 
their horses in charge of the Indians, they were forced to buy dogs of them to subsist 
upon, after reaching the vicinity of the present site of Lewiston. 

The following in regard to the Nez Perce tribe, by Lewis and Clarke, is interest- 
ing, as being a description of their condition when first seen by whites in 1805. 

"The Chopunnish or Fierce-nosed nation, who reside on the Kooskooskee and Lewis' rivers, are 
in jjerson stout, portly, well-looking men; the women are small, with good features, and generally 
handsome, though the complexion of both sexes is darker than that of the Tashepaivs. In dress 
they resemble that nation, being fond of displaying their ornaments. The buffalo or elk skin robe 
decorated with beads, sea shells, chiefly mother-of-pearl, attached to an otter skin collar, and hung 
in the hair, which falls in front in two queues; feathers, paint of different kinds, principally white, 
green and light blue, all of which they find in their own countiy ; these are the chief ornaments 
they use. In winter they wear a short shirt of dressed skins, long painted leggings and moccasins, 
and a plait of twisted grass around the neck. 

"The dress of the women is more simple, consisting of a long shirt of argalia or ibex skin, 
reaching down to the ankles without a girdle; to this are tied little pieces of brass and shells, and 
other small articles; but the head is not at all ornamented. The dress of the female is indeed more 
modest, and more studiously so than any we have observed, though the other sex is careless of the 
indelicacy of exposure. 

"The Chopunnish have very few amusements, for their life is painful and laborious; and all 
their exertions are necessary to earn even their precarious subsistence. During the summer and 
autumn they are busily occupied in fishing for salmon, and collecting their winter store of roots- 
In the winter they hunt the deer on snow-shoes over the plains, and towards spring cross the 
mountains to the Missouri, for the purpose of trafficing for buffalo robes. The inconveniences of 
that comfortless life are increased by frequent encounters with their enemies from the west, who 
drive them over the mountains with the loss of their horses, and sometimes the lives of many of the 
nation. Though originally the same people, their dialect varies very perceptibly from that of the 
Tashepaivs ; their treatment of us differed much from the kind and disinterested services of the Shoshonees 
(Snakes); they are indeed selfish and avaricious ; they part very reluctantly ivilh every article of food or 


clothing ; and while they expect a recompense for every service, however small, do not concern themselves 
about reciprocating any presents we may give them. They are generally healthy — the only disorders, 
which we have had occasion to remark, being of a scrofulous kind, and for these, as well as for the 
amusement of those who are in good health, hot and cold bathing is very commonly used. The 
soil of these prairies is of a light yellow clay, intermixed with small smooth grass ; it is barren, and 
produces little more than a bearded grass about three inches high, and a prickly pear, of which we 
now found three species." 

The present settlers of that section will not endorse the description given of the 
soil, much less the assertion that it was barren. The writer of this was strongly im- 
pressed with the fact, while passing over " these prairies " in 1882, and viewing the 
miles of waving grain growing upon them, that it required practical tests to determine 
what was barren and what productive soil west of the Rocky mountains. 

At the end of their first day's voyage down Snake river, to which they gave the 
name of Captain " Lewis," they camped at the mouth of Alpowa creek, where five dogs 
were killed for supper. In fact, dog meat was their main dependence for food, and 
fifteen of them were eaten before reaching the Columbia. Snake river seemed a sue- 
cession of shoals and rapids, and, from reading those travels, one becomes impressed 
strongly with the belief that it was a season when less water flowed in its channel than 
has ever run there since. From 1860 until the present time it has been navigated by 
steamers to the point where Lewis and Clarke first reached it. 

Iu their memoirs, the Tukannon river is called the "Kim-oo-enim" and the name 
of " Drewyer " was given to what now is known as Palouse river, in honor of George 
Drewyer, a member of the expedition. The Yakima river is also mentioned under its 
Indian name of " Tapteal." 

October sixteenth the Columbia river was reached, Avhen a day was spent in explora- 
tion and in replenishing their larder by the purchase of forty-seven dogs for future eat- 
ing. The journey down the Columbia occupied the time intervening until the seventh of 
the folloAving month, when they record that : " We had not gone far from this village 
when the fog cleared off and we enjoyed the delightful prospect of the ocean — that 
ocean, the object of all our labors, the reward of all our anxieties." 

At sunset on the last day of the year 1805 they had completed a fortification on 
the south side of the Columbia, a few miles from its mouth, to which they gave the 
name of " Fort Clatsop." They remained at this place until the middle of the follow- 
ing March, subsisting in the meantime upon fish, game and dogs, regarding the latter 
of which it is noted that : " Having been so long accustomed to live on the flesh of 
dogs, the greater part of us have acquired a fondness for it." 

The nearest approach to a white man seen in the country was a half-breed, freckled 
and with red hair, living among the Clatsop tribe, who was about twenty-five years 
old. Regarding knowledge of white men possessed by Indians on the Columbia at the 

time, Lewis and Clarke write : 

" Those strangers who visit the Columbia for the purpose of trade or hunting must be either 
English or Americans. The Indians inform us that they speak the same language as we do, and 
indeed the few words which the Indians have learnt from the sailors, such as musket, powder, shot, 
knife, tile, heave the lead, damned rascal, and other phrases of that description, evidently show 
that the visitors speak the English language." 

The lonely isolation, four thousand miles from civilization, of this little forlorn 
hope of American explorers is thrown into strong relief by the following, that was 


penned and fastened to the inside walls of their fort as they turned from it in their 
way back across the continent : 

"The object of this last is that, through the medium of some civilized person who may see the 
same, it may be made known to the world that the party consisting of the persons whose names are 
hereunto annexed, and who were sent out by the Government of the United States to explore the in- 
terior of the continent of North America, did penetrate the same by the way of the Missouri and 
Columbia rivers to the discharge of the latter into the Pacific ocean, where they arrived on the 
14th day of November, 1805, and departed the 23d day of March, 1806, on their return to the 
United States by the same route by which they had come out." 

Upon taking an invoice of merchandise, upon which they must depend on 
their way home for the purchase of provisions or other necessaries from the Indians, 
they found it to consist of six blue and- one scarlet robes, a U. S. artillery hat and coat, 
five robes made from the flag and a few old clothes trimmed with ribbon, all of which 
could have been tied up in a couple of handkerchiefs. 

With this to traffic with, they started on their return, passed slowly up the 
Columbia, and reaching the Willamette river, called by the natives Multnomah, Captain 
Clarke discovered it on the second of April, 180G. Finding some Indians in a house, 
near its mouth, who would give him nothing to eat, he sat down before the fire and 
threw some matches into it, which so frightened them that they set food before him 
and begged that he put the "evil fire" out. He learned while visiting this river, that 
the small-pox, some thirty years before, had raged among the Indians in its vicinity, 
sweeping off whole villages. 

The Dalles Indians, as well as those living upon the Des Chutes, were very 
unfriendly and stole everything they could get. At John Day river — by Lewis and 
Clark called "River Lapage" — the canoes were abandoned, and the party continued the 
journey on foot with their baggage packed upon horses purchased from the natives. On 
the twenty-seventh, the party passed the Umatilla river, called by them " You-ma-lolam," 
and reached the Walla Walla river, where it empties into the Columbia. Yellept was the 
name of the head chief of the Walla Walla tribe at that time, and he received the 
whites with open arms, extending to them such hospitality as they had received at the 
hands of no Indians, since leaving the borders of civilization. Could this chief have 
looked forward fifty years, with the eye of divination, and beheld his successor Peo-peo- 
mux-mux, when a prisoner, murdered on the banks of that same stream by members 
of the race to which his guests belonged, it would have been a grave that he would have 
shown them, instead of an open hand of friendship and charity. 1 Mentioning this 
reception, it is related by Lewis and Clarke that : 

" Immediately on our arrival, Yellept , who proved to be a man of much influence, not only in 
his own, but in the neighboring nations, collected the inhabitants, and after having made a harangue, 
the purport of which was to induce the nations to treat us hospitably, set them an example, by 
bringing himself an armful of wood, and a platter containing three roasted mullets. They imme- 
diately assented to one part, at least, of the recommendation, by furnishing us with an abundance 
of the only sort of fuel they employ, the stems of shrubs growing in the plains. We then pur- 
chased four dogs, on which we supped heartily, having been on short allowance for two days past. 
When we were disposed to sleep, the Indians retired immediately on our request, and, indeed, 
uniformly conducted themselves with great propriety. These people live on roots, which are very 

1. Yellept had five sons who were all slain in battle or perished of disease, and a number of years after Lewis and Clarke 
had passed through his country, he saw the last of them die. Heart-broken, the old chief called his tribe together, and lying down 
upon the body of his son in the grave, sternly commanded them to cover him with his dead. A wail of lamentation wenl up from 
his people, but they buried him alive as he had ordered, and the greatest chief and glory of the Walla Wallas had perished. 

. A .G, WALL! NO. 


f J Qffft.A.V6, OA 


abundant in the plains, and catch a few salmon-trout ; but at present they seem to subsist chiefly 
on a species of mullet, weighing from one to three pounds. ******* 

" Monday, 28, we purchased ten dogs. While this trade was carrying on by our men, Yellept 
brought a fine lohite horse, and presented him to Captain Clarke, expressing at the same time a wish 
to have a kettle ; but on being informed that we had already disposed of the last kettle we could 
spare, he said he would be content with any present we should make in return. Captain Clarke, 
therefore, gave his sword, for which the chief had before expressed a desire, adding one hundred 
balls, some powder, and other small articles, with which he appeared perfectly satisfied. We were 
now anxious to depart, and requested Yellept to lend us canoes for the purpose of crossing the river. 
But he would not listen to any proposal of leaving the village. He wished us to remain two or 
three days ; but would not let us go to-day, for he had already sent to invite his neighbors, the 
Chimnapoos (Cayuses), to come down this evening and join his people in a dance for our amuse, 
ment. We urged, in vain, that by setting out sooner, we would the earlier return with the articles 
they desired ; for a day, he observed, would make but little difference. We at length mentioned, 
that, as there was no wind, it was now the best time to cross the river, and would merely take the 
horses over, and return to sleep at their village. To this he assented, and then we crossed with our 
horses, and having hobbled them, returned to their camp. Fortunately there was among these 
Wollaivollahs, a prisoner belonging to a tribe of Shoshonee or Snake Indians, residing to the south 
of the Multnomah, and visiting occasionally the heads of the Wollawollah creek. Our Shoshonee 
woman, Sacajaweah, though she belonged to a tribe near the Missouri, spoke the same language as this 
prisoner, and by their means we were able to explain ourselves to the Indians, and answer all their 
inquiries with respect to ourselves and the object of our journey. Our conversation inspired them 
with much confidence, and they soon brought several sick persons, for whom they requested our 
assistance. We splintered the broken arm of one, gave some relief to another, whose knee was 
contracted by rheumatism, and administered what we thought beneficial for ulcers and ei'uptions of 
the skin, on various parts of the body, which are very common disorders among them. But our 
most valuable medicine was eye-water, which we distributed, and which, indeed they required very 
much ; the complaint of the eyes, occasioned by living on the water, and increased by the fine sand 
of the plains, being now universal. 

'^A little before sun-set, the Chimnapoos, amounting to one hundred men and a few women, 
came to the village, and joining the Wollaivollahs, who were about the same number of men, formed 
themselves in a circle round our camp, and waited very patiently till our men were disposed to 
dance, which they did for about an hour, to the tune of the violin. They then requested to see the 
Indians dance. With this they readily complied, and the whole assemblage, amounting, with the 
women and children of the village, to several hundred, stood up, and sang and danced at the same 
time. The exercise was not, indeed, very violent nor very graceful, for the greater part of them 
were formed into a solid column, round a kind of hollow square, stood on the same place, and 
merely jumped up at intervals, to keep time to the music. Some, however, of the more active 
warriors entered the square, and danced round it sidewise, and some of our men joined in the 
dance, to the great satisfaction of the Indians. The dance continued till ten o'clock the next 
moriiinp" ^k^'p -& *t» ^ *£ ^ *k 

"In the course of the day we gave small medals to two inferior chiefs, each of whom made us 
a present of a fine horse. We were in a poor condition to make an adequate acknowledgment for 
this kindness, but gave several articles, among which was a pistol, with some hundred rounds of 
ammunition. We have, indeed, been treated by these people with an unusual degree of kindness and 

On the twenty-ninth of April, 1806, the party set out from the vicinity of what 
is now Wallula, in Walla Walla county, and, crossing the country by the trail east, 
reached the Touchet river a little north of where the railroad now crosses it, and fol- 
lowed the course of that stream to where Dayton now stands. Both otter and beaver 
were caught on the Touchet by Drewyer, their hunter, and the country along that 
river was pronounced very fertile and to, resemble the plains of Missouri. On their 
second day out, reference is made to an incident, as follows : 


" We had scarcely encamped, wheu three young men came up from the WoUawollah village 
with a steel trap which had been left behind inadvertently and which they had come a whole day's 
journey in order to restore. This act of integrity was the more pleasing because, though very rare 
among Indians, it corresponds perfectly with the general behavior of the WoUawollah 's, among 
whom we had lost carelessly several knives, which were always returned as soon as found. We may, 
indeed, justly affirm that of all Ike Indians whom we have met since leaving the United Stales, the Wolla- 
ivollahs were the most hospitable, honest and sincere." 

Copei creek was called by Lewis and Clarke " Gambler's river," and to the main 
Touchet, which bears southeast from Dayton, the name of "White Stallion" was given, 
because of the present to Captain Lew r is by the chief of the " WoUawollah " tribe. They 
followed up Patit creek, the left branch from the fork, and camped at a small bottom 
eight and a half miles from its mouth. They were following the old Nez Perce trail, 
still traceable through the country, that led in the same general direction as the present 
stage road between Lewiston and Dayton, which passes along the Pataha and down 
the Alpowa to reach Snake river. Thirty-one years later, Missionary Spalding 
planted an apple orchard, which is-still standing, at the place where Lewis and Clarke 
reached that stream, at the month of the Alpowa creek on Sunday, May 4, 1806. 

Snake river was crossed to the north side in canoes near where D. M. White now 
has a cable ferry, from which point the party followed a trail on the north side of this 
and Clearwater rivers, until the camp of " Twisted-hair " was reached, with whom they 
had left their horses. The Bitterroot mountains being still covered with snow and 
impassable, they were obliged to remain among the Nez Perces until the fifteenth of June, 
when their passage was undertaken, and the same route, by the Lolo trail, was followed 
that had been pursued in first reaching the Nez Perce country. The first attempt 
was unsuccessful, and it was June 30 before " Traveler's Rest " creek was reached, on 
the east side. July 4, the party separated, Captain Lewis pushing east along Hellgate 
river, while Captain Clarke moved southeasterly along " Clarke's " river now called 
Bitterroot, and the two, after passing the Rocky mountains, again met, August 12, on 
the Missouri river, whence they returned to the East, reaching St. Louis September 23, 



It is not the province of this work to prove a theory, or argue a disputed ques- 
tion of national rights. A disputed theory as to such rights existed between the 
United States and Great Britain, involving ownership of that portion of the Pacific 
Coast lying between California and the 49th parallel, which is now Washington, Idaho 
and a portion of Montana Territories, and all of the State of Oregon. The limited 
space here devoted to early occupation of the country will admit a record only of its 
more prominent and striking events, and of these even, minute detail is not permissible. 

In the previous chapter some of the occurrences incident to the advent of Lewis 


and Clarke west of the Rocky mountains have been given, and something of the con- 
dition of the native tribes and of this country at that time. In this chapter it is pro- 
posed to note the first effort to occupy the country by Americans, its temporary success 
and final failure through treachery. 

The movement of the United States Government exploring expedition under 
Lewis and Clarke, who were sent to spy out the land acquired from France, was marked 
with solicitude by a British fur corporation, known as the Northwest Company. It 
could not be expected that they would submit without a struggle to a loss of such vast 
fields in which to prosecute their peculiar industry. The line of division between 
adverse claimants to territory west of the Rocky mountains was not well defined and 
liable to change. Such change, if it occurred, would be the result of future and not 
past occupancy. Present rights might be lost by a failure to take possession ; and, as 
everything was to be gained and little lost by action, that British fur company 
decided to enter the field to contest with the United States for occupation of this fur- 
stocked region west of the Rocky mountains. They accordingly sent Laroque, in 
1805, to locate forts on the Columbia river, but he failed to reach the Rocky moun- 
tains from the East. In 1806, Simon Frazier, from Fort Chipiwyan, crossed those 
mountains from the head of Peace river and established a fort on a lake, to which his 
name was given, several hundred miles north of the line now dividing the British Posses- 
sions from the United States. This was the first occupation by British subjects of any 
point within the country west of the Rocky mountains, their attempt at Nootka having 
failed. It was followed by other establishments in the same section of country that 
became known as " New Caledonia," in 1808. 

The reports, by Lewis and Clarke on their return, of an apparently inexhaustible 
supply of fur-producing animals in the country stretching away to the Pacific ocean, 
caused a number of parties to embark in that trade, who, in 1808, combined under 
the title of the Missouri Fur Company, in whose employ were about two hundred 
and fifty men. Their operations reached west of the Rockies only in the establish- 
ment of Fort Henry on the headwaters of Lewis' (Snake) river, in 1810, which was 
abandoned the same year. In 1810, an American sea captain 1 built, at Oak Point, 
on the south side of the Columbia, a house for trading purposes, planted a garden, and 
the high water that year destroyed both. 


In 1810, the Pacific Fur Company was organized by John Jacob Astor, of New 
York, under management of which the first effort was made by our government 
towards occupancy of the Pacific Coast country purchased from France. Under 
authority of our government, in 1811, that company established a fort that was named 
Astoria, at the point on the Columbia river where the city of that name now stands. 
For this purpose, the expedition had left in two divisions, one by land from Mackinaw, 
August 12, 1810, the other by sea from New York, September 8, of the same year; 
the latter of which reached the mouth of the Columbia river, March 24, 1811, and 
later established the fort as before mentioned. 

1 W. H. Gray, on page 15, gives his name as T. Winship, other authors as Nathanial Winship, Franchere on page 177, 
Greenhow on page 292, and Irving's Astoria, vol. 2, p. 231, as Captain Smith. 


Contention had sat at the council fire of the party by sea, and disaster followed 
in the wake of that ship, whose commander, Jonathan Thorn, seemed to possess a 
wand for misfortune. In beating- off before the breakers at the Columbia bar for three 
days, before making an entrance to that river, he had sent two yawls with their crews 
to a watery grave. These unfortunate men were forced against their will, and the 
crew's protest, to search in those fragile open boats for the channel, where the war raged 
fiercest between the winds and waves that struggled with the tide. Four went out 
where the sea swallowed them up, then six followed after and the storm king claimed 
four of them. Thus, eight unfortunate men were sent to their death at the mouth of 
the Columbia, in sight of the land they had come •to occupy. Their comrades, listen- 
ing to the winds that night, believed they could hear voices calling to them for help, 
from out in the darkness among the angry waters ; and the light of the succeeding day 
failed to remove the shadow of impending evil, that seemed to have laid its chilling 
mantle upon all. 


Before Fort Astoria had been built, Captain Thorn, on the first of June, sailed up 
the coast on a trading expedition, with the ultimate purpose of reaching Sitka to open 
communication with the Russian Fur Company, operating there. Reaching Juan de 
Fuca strait, he put into a small harbor at Vancouver island, and attempted to open 
trade with the Indians. Alexander McKay, whose descendant Dr. McKay, is now a 
resident of Pendleton, in Umatilla county, Oregon, was a partner, and accompanied 
Captain Thorn on this expedition. He landed on the island, and, in his absence, the 
natives in their canoes visited the ship, until her decks were covered with them. They 
had plenty of furs, but held them at such high figures that Captain Thorn could not 
buy, and he became indignant, at last, at their unreasonable demands, and refused to 
have anything more to do with them. An old chief, called Nookamis, followed the Captain 
up and down the deck, taunting him with his stingy offers, until Thorn, becoming 
enraged, seized him, rubbed an otter skin that he was trying to sell, in his face, and 
then ordered the whole band out of the ship, helping some of them in their exit with 
blows. This was the height of folly, but, "Those whom the gods would destroy they 
first make mad." What followed is from the pen of Washington Irving, as given in 
his work, entitled "Astoria." 

"When Mr. M'Kay returned on board, the interpreter related what had passed, and begged 
him to prevail upon the Captain to make sail, as, from his knowledge of the temper and pride of the 
people of the place, he was sure they would resent the indignity offered to one of their chiefs. 
Mr. M'Kay, who himself possessed some experience of Indian character, went to the Captain, who 
was still pacing the deck in moody humor, represented the danger to which his hasty act had 
exposed the vessel, and urged him to weigh anchor. The Captain made light of his councils, and 
pointed to his cannon and fire-arms as a sufficient safe-guard against naked savages. Further 
remonstrances only provoked taunting replies and sharp altercations. The day passed away with- 
out any signs of hostility, and at night the Captain retired, as usual, to his cabin, taking no more 
than the usual precautions. 

" On the following morning, at day-break, while the Captain and Mr. M'Kay were yet asleep, 
a canoe came alongside in which were twenty Indians, commanded by young Shewish. They were 
unarmed, their aspect and demeanor friendly, and they held up otter skins, and made signs indica- 
tive of a wish to trade. The caution enjoined by Mr. Astor, in respect to the admission of Indians 


on board of the ship, had been neglected for some time past, and the officer of the watch, perceiv" 
ing those in the canoes to be without weapons, and having received no orders to the contrary, 
readily permitted them to mount the deck. Another canoe soon succeeded, the crew of which was 
likewise admitted. In a little while other canoes came off, and Indians were soon clambering into 
the vessel on all sides. 

"The officer of the watch now felt alarmed, and called to Captain Thorn and Mr. M'Kay. By 
the time they came on deck, it was thronged with Indians. The interpreter noticed to Mr. M'Kay 
that many of the natives wore short mantles of skins, and intimated a suspicion that they were 
secretly armed. Mr. M'Kay urged the Captain to clear the ship and get under way. He again 
made light of the advice ; but the augmented swarm of canoes about the ship, and the numbers 
still putting off from shore, at length awakened his distrust, and he ordered some of the crew to 
weigh anchor, while some were sent aloft to make sail. 

" The Indians now offered to trade with the Captain on his own terms, prompted, apparently, 
by the approaching departure of the ship. Accordingly, a hurried trade was commenced The 
main articles sought by the savages in barter, were knives ; as fast as some were supplied they 
moved off and others succeeded. By degrees they were thus distributed about the deck, and all 
with weapons. 

" The anchor was now nearly up, the sails were loose, and the Captain, in a loud and per- 
emptory tone, ordered the ship to be cleared. In an instant a signal yell was given ; it was echoed 
on every side, knives and war clubs were brandished in every direction, and the savages rushed 
upon their marked victims. 

" The first that fell was Mr. Lewis, the ship's clerk He was leaning, with folded arms, over 
a bale of blankets, engaged in bargaining, when he received a deadly stab in the back, and fell 
down the companionway. 

"Mr. M'Kay, who was seated on the taffrail, sprang on his feet, but was instantly knocked 
down with a war-club and flung backwards into the sea, where he was dispatched by the women in 
the canoes. 

" In the meantime, Captain Thorn made desperate fight against fearful odds. He was a power- 
ful as well as resolute man, but he had come upon deck without weapons. Shewish, the young 
chief, singled him out as his peculiar prey, and rushed upon him at the first outbreak. The captain 
had barely time to draw a clasp-knife, with one blow of which he laid the young savage dead at 
his feet. Several of the stoutest followers of Shewish now set upon him. He defended himself 
vigorously, dealing crippling blows to right and left, and strewing the quarterdeck with the slain 
and wounded. His object was to fight his way to the cabin, where there were firearms ; but he was 
hemmed in with foes, covered with wounds, and faint with loss of blood. For an instant he leaned 
upon the tiller wheel, when a blow from behind, with a war club, felled him to the deck, where 
he was dispatched with knives and thrown overboard. 

"While this was transacting upon the quarterdeck, a chance medley fight was going on through- 
out the ship. The crew fought desperately with knives, handspikes and whatever weapons they 
could seize upon in the moment of surprise. They wei*e soon, however, overpowered by numbers 
and mercilessly butchered. 

"As to the seven who had been sent aloft to make sail, they contemplated with horror the car- 
nage that was going on below. Being destitute of weapons, they let themselves down by the run- 
ning rigging, in hopes of getting between decks. One fell in the attempt, and was instantly dis- 
patched ; another received a death blow in the back as he was descending ; a third, Stephen Weekes, 
the armorer, was mortally wounded as he was getting down the hatchway. 

" The remaining four made good their retreat into the cabin, where they found Mr. Lewis still 
alive, though mortally wounded. Barricading the cabin door, they broke holes through the com- 
panionway, and, with the muskets and ammunition which were at hand, opened a brisk fire that 
soon cleared the deck. 

" Thus far the Indian interpreter, from whom these particulars are derived, had been an eye- 
witness of the deadly conflict. ' He had taken no part in it and had been spared by the natives as 
being' of their race. In the confusion of the moment he took refuge with the rest, in the canoes. 


The survivors of the crew now sallied forth and discharged some of the deck guns, which did great 
execution among the canoes and drove all the savages to shore. 

" For the remainder of the day no one ventured to put off to the ship, deterred by the effects 
of the firearms. The night passed away without any further attempt on the part of the natives. 
When the day dawned the Tonquin still lay at anchor in the bay, her sails all loose and flapping in 
the wind, and no one apparently on board of her. After a time, some of the canoes ventured forth 
to reconnoitre, taking with them the interpreter. They paddled about her, keeping cautiously at a 
distance, but growing more and more emboldened at seeing her quiet and lifeless. One man at length 
made his appearance on the deck and was recognized by the interpreter as Mi\ Lewis. He made 
friendly signs and invited them on board. It was long before they ventured to comply. Those 
who mounted the deck met with no opposition ; no one was to be seen on board, for Mr. Lewis, 
after inviting them, had disappeared. Other canoes now pressed forward to board the prize ; the 
decks were soon crowded, and the sides covered with clambering savages, all intent on plunder. 
In the midst of their eagerness and exultation, the ship blew up with a tremendous explosion. Arms, 
legs and mutilated bodies were blown into the air, and dreadful havoc was made in the surrounding 
canoes. The interpreter was in the main chains at the time of the explosion, and was thrown 
unhurt into the water, where he succeeded in getting into one of the canoes. According to his 
statement the bay presented an awful spectacle after the catastrophe. The ship had disappeared, 
but the bay was covered with fragments of the wreck, with shattered canoes and Indians swimming 
for their lives or struggling in the agonies of death ; while those who had escaped the danger 
remained aghast and stupefied, or made with frantic panic for the shore. Upwards of a hundred 
savages were destroyed by the explosion, many more were shockingly mutilated, and for days after- 
wards the limbs and bodies of the slain were thrown upon the beach. 

" The inhabitants of Neweetec. were overwhelmed with consternation at this astounding calamity 
which had burst upon them in the very moment of triumph. The warriors sat mute and mournful, 
while the women filled the air with loud lamentations. Their weeping and wailing, however, was 
suddenly changed into yells of fury at the sight of four unfortunate white men brought captive 
into the village. They had been driven on shore in one of the ship's boats, and taken at some dis- 
tance along the coast. 

" The interpreter was permitted to converse with them. They proved to be the four brave 
fellows who had made such desperate defense from the cabin. The interpreter gathered from them 
some of the particulars already related. They told him further, that, after they had beaten off 
the enemy, and cleard the ship, Lewis advised that they should slip the cable and endeavor to get to 
sea. They declined to take his advice, alleging that the wind set too strongly into the bay, and 
would drive them on shore. They resolved, as soon as it was dark, to put off quietly in the ship's 
boat, which they would be able to do unperceived, and to coast along back to Astoria. They put 
their resolution into effect ; but Lewis refused to accompany them, being disabled by his wound, 
hopeless of escape and determined on a terrible revenge. On the voyage out he had repeatedly 
expressed a presentiment that he should die by his own hands — thinking it highly probable that he 
should be engaged in some contests with the natives, and being resolved, in case of extremity, to 
commit suicide rather than be made a prisoner. He now declared his intention to remain on board 
of the ship until daylight, to decoy as many of the savages on board as possible, then to set fire to 
the powder magazine and terminate his life by a signal act of vengeance . How well he succeeded 
has been shown. His companions bade him a melancholy adieu and set off on their precarious 
expedition. They strove with might and main to get out of the bay, but found it impossible to 
weather a point of land, and were at length compelled to take shelter in a small cove, where they 
hoped to remain concealed until the wind should be more favorable. Exhausted by fatigue and 
watching, they fell into a sound sleep and in that state were surprised by the savages. Better had 
it been for those unfortunate men had they remained with Lewis and shared his heroic death ; as it 
was, they perished in a more painful and protracted manner, being sacrificed by the natives to the 
manes of their friends with all the lingering tortures of savage cruelty. Some time after their 
death the interpreter, who had remained a kind of prisoner at large, effected his escape and brought 
the tragical tidings to Astoria." 



On the fifteenth of July, 1811, David Thompson with nine men landed from a 
canoe at Astoria. He was direct from Montreal, whence he had come overland, for 
the purpose of taking possession of the country in the interests of the Northwest 
Company, and the name of Great Britain. He had wintered in the Rocky mountains, 
where all his party had deserted him and returned, except the nine who reached 
Astoria. Mr. Thompson, learning that he had been forestalled by the Pacific Fur 
Company, had determined to go down the Columbia in a canoe, and see for himself 
what had been done. He was a spy, yet was kindly received by Mr. McDougal, who, 
being in charge of Astoria, furnished provisions to enable him to go back from whence 
he came. Mr. Thompson set out, July 23, for Montreal, accompanied by David 
Stewart and a party of eight from Astoria, who proposed establishing a trading post 
on the Columbia at the mouth of the Okinagan river; and the station established by 
Mr. Stewart at this time, was the first white settlement in what now 'is Washington 
Territory. In October, four of his companions returned to Astoria, leaving this veteran 
trapper with but four associates, to pass the winter in the interior. 


Leaving, for a time, the survivors of the party that had reached this coast by sea, 
of whose number thirty-one, including Sandwich Islanders, had found a grave in the 
Pacific ocean or death at the torture post, let us return to those of the Pacific Fur 
Company, who, in traversing the continent under Wilson P. Hunt, had arrived on the 
head waters of Snake river at Fort Henry, October 8, 1811. There were about sixty 
of them in all, from among whom, small detachments were, from time to time, sent out 
in the Rocky mountains to trap in various localities during the winter, who were to 
use Fort Henry as a supply station, and for concentration with their furs. The 
remaining members of the party, after a temporary halt, moved on down Snake river 
enroute for the general rendezvous at the mouth of the Columbia; and a continued 
succession of hardships and disaster seemed to follow them. First, the unfortunate 
Antoine Clappin was drowned in passing a rapid, then famine came to rob them of 
human instincts, as they were led to the verge of starvation. They were finally 
forced to separate into small detachments, one party going under Ramsey Crooks, 
another with Donald McKenzie for leader, while a third remained with Mr. Hunt, 
hoping by such division to increase their chances of finally reaching the Columbia. 

Once the parties under Crooks and Hunt camped with the narrow deep waters 
of Snake river only separating them. The Hunt party had killed a horse and were 
cooking it, while their starving companions on the opposite side of the stream, with no 
means of crossing it, were forced to look on as they starved. Not a man in Mr. Hunt's 
camp would make an effort to send them food, until the arrival of Mr. Crooks, who 
discovering the condition of his men on the opposite side, called to the forlorn band to 
start fires for cooking, that no time might be lost while he constructed a canoe out of 
skins, in which to take meat across to them. In vain he tried to shame the more for- 
tunate into helping to succor their famishing companions, but: "A vague, and almost 


superstitious, terror," says Washington Irving, "had infected the minds of Mr. Hunt's 
followers, enfeebled and rendered imaginative of horrors by the dismal scenes and 
sufferings through which they had passed. They regarded the haggard crew, hovering 
like spectres of famine on the opposite bank, with indefinite feelings of awe and appre- 
hension, as if something desperate and dangerous was to be feared from them." 

When the canoe w T as finished, Mr. Crooks attempted to navigate the impetuous 
stream with it, but found his strength unequal to the task, and failing to reach his 
companions on the opposite bank, made another appeal to Hunt's men. Finally, a 
Kentuckian, named Ben. Jones, undertook and made the passage, conveying meat to 
them, and then came back. Washington Irving, in describing this sad scene, says : 

"A poor Canadian, however, named Jean Baptiste Prevost, whom famine had rendered wild 
and desperate, ran frantically about the banks, after Jones had returned, crying out to Mr. Hunt 
to send the canoe for him, and take him from that horrible region of famine, declaring that other- 
wise he would never march another step, but would lie down there and die. 

"The cauoe was shortly sent over again, under the management of Joseph Delaunay, with 
further supplies. Prevost immediately pressed forward to embark. Delaunay refused to admit 
him, telling him that there was now a sufficient supply of meat on his side of the river. He replied 
that it was not cooked, and he should starve before it was ready ; he implored, therefore, to be 
taken where he could get something to appease his hunger immediately. Finding the canoe putting 
off without him, he forced himself aboard. As he drew near the opposite shore, and beheld meat 
roasting before the tires, he jumped up, shouted, clapped his hands, and danced in a delirium of 
joy, until he upset the canoe. The poor wretch was swept away by the current and drowned, and 
it was with extreme difficulty that Delaunay reached the shore. 

" Mr. Hunt now sent all his men forward excepting two or three. In the evening, he caused 
another horse to be killed, and a canoe to be made out of the skin, in which he sent over a further 
supply of meat to the opposite party. The canoe brought back John Day, the Kentucky hunter, 
who came to join his former employer and commander, Mr. Crooks. Poor Day, once so active and 
vigorous, was now reduced to a condition even more feeble and emaciated than his companions. 
Mr. Crooks had such a value for the man, on account of his past services and faithful character, that 
he determined not to cpiit him ; he exhorted Mr. Hunt, however, to proceed forward, and join the 
party, as his presence was all important to the conduct of the expedition. One of the Canadians 
Jean Baptiste Dubreuil, likewise remained with Mr. Crooks." 

The occurrences at this starvation camp were on the twentieth of December, 1811, 
both parties being on their way back up Snake river after having found that they 
could not go down that stream. It was now their intention to strike across the country 
northwest for the Columbia, as soon as it was practicable to do so. On the twenty-third 
of December, Mr. Hunt's followers crossed to the west side of the stream, where they 
were joined by Crooks' men, who were already there. The two parties, when united, 
numbered thirty-six souls, and on the next day they turned from the river out into a 
trackless country ; but, before starting, three more of their number had concluded to 
remain among the savages rather than face the hardships and trials that lay before 
them. December 28, 1811, the head waters of Grand Ronde river was reached, and 
the last day of that year found them camped in the valley of that name. 

Through all their perils and wanderings since leaving St. Louis, one woman, the 
Indian wife of Pierre Dorion, a guide, interpreter and trapper, had accompanied them, 
bringing with her two children, and, as the party entered the Grand Ronde valley, she 
gave birth to another. The next day she continued the journey on horseback as 
though nothing had happened, but the little stranger only lived six days. Two winters 

— * 





"-^■/ ••■:■'! 



later, this poor woman, seeking this valley as a fugitive, wintered alone with her two 
children at the head of it, after having traveled hundreds of miles to reach the place. 
In the spring she and her little ones, as the only survivors of John Reed's party of 
twelve, who had been murdered by Indians in the Rocky mountains, finally reached 
the mouth of Walla Walla river in April, 1814. She was just in time to convey news 
of the sad fate of their companions, among whom was her husband, to the remnant of 
the Pacific Fur Company as it was passing up the Columbia on its way out of the 
country that had been betrayed into the hands of the Northwest Company by McDou- 

Mr. Hunt, after halting one or two days to enable his followers to celebrate, in 
their forlorn way, the advent of a new year that had presented to them the Grand 
Ronde valley, a kind of winter paradise in the mountains, continued his course to the 
west. The Blue mountain ridge was passed, and January 8, 181'2, an Indian village 
on the Umatilla river close to the mountains was reached, where they were hospitably 
received. From there their route was down this stream to the Columbia river, thence 
to the mouth of the latter, arriving at Astoria February 15, 1812. 

Since leaving Fort Henry, October 19, 1811, out of Mr. Hunt's party, two men 
had been drowned on Snake river, and poor Michael Carriere, when exhausted, had 
straggled behind in Grand Ronde valley and was never heard from afterwards. Ram- 
sey Crooks, John Day and four Canadian voyageurs, had been left half dead on Snake 
river to remain in the Indian country, die, or reach the Columbia as they best could. 
Eleven men, among whom were Donald McKenzie, Robert McLellan and the unfortu- 
nate John Reed, had been detached on Snake river, and following that stream until its 
waters mingled with the Columbia, had reached Astoria a month in advance of Mr. 
Hunt. Mr. Stewart, when returning from, his post on the Okinagan, during the first 
days of April, found Mr. Crooks and John Day on the banks of the Columbia river 
without arms, nearly starved, and as naked as when born, having been robbed and 
stripped by the Dalles Indians. They had wintered in the Blue mountains about 
Grand Ronde valley, had reached the Walla Wallas in the spring, who had fed, 
succored, and sent them on their way rejoicing down the river. When found, they 
were making their way back to these early friends of the Americans, who never failed 
to assist our people when in trouble. 

At length all but three of those starting from the head waters of Snake river for 
Astoria had reached that place except the four voyageurs, and later they, too, were 
found by a return party. On the ninth of May, after Mr. Hunt's arrival, the ship 
Beaver, with reinforcements and supplies, anchored at Astoria, and the Pacific Fur 
Company was in condition to enter upon a vigorous fur gathering campaign. 


Mr. Hunt, who was at the head of affairs, set out in July for Sitka to fulfill the 
mission upon which the ill-fated Tonquin had sailed, and his departure left Duncan 
McDougal in charge. Prior to this, however, the various expeditions to trap waters 
and trade with natives between the Rocky and Cascade mountains had started, sixty- 
two strong, up the Columbia. Among the number was the unfortunate John Day, 


and, as the party approached the scenes of his former sufferings his mind became 
delirious, and the mere sight of an Indian would throw him into a frenzy of passion. 
He finally attempted his own life, but was prevented from taking it, after which a con- 
stant guard was kept over him. It was at length determined to send him back to 
Astoria, and being placed in charge of two Indians, he was delivered by them at the 
fort where he died in less than a year. His old compeers and staunch friends, who 
had shared perils and privations with him, were forced to continue their journey to the 
States with a sad memory of this companion, whose brain had been shattered by his 
many misfortunes. Such are some of the life events, and sad fate of the man, whose 
name has been given to a river in Oregon, that empties into the Columbia, near the 
scene of his attempt upon his own life. 

It is with regret that the writer finds it necessary to glance only at a detail of the 
many occurrences that followed, picking from among them such as are most striking or 

The arrival of trappers at the present site of Wallula, on the twenty-eighth of 
July, 1812, was the signal for general rejoicing among the friendly Walla Wallas, who 
greeted them with bonfires, and a night dance, in which they sang the praises of 
their white friends. Here the four expeditions were to separate, Robert Stewart to 
cross the continent by Hunt's route; David Stewart to go up the Columbia to Fort 
Okinagan, and operate north from there; Donald McKenzie to establish a post in the 
Nez Perce country; and John Clarke to locate one among the Spokane Indians. Of 
these several expeditions, Robert Stewart, with his party, including Crooks and McLel- 
lan, reached St. Louis eleven months later, bearing the first news to Mr. Astor of his 
enterprise on the Pacific coast. McKenzie's operations were a failure; David Stewart's 
success was equal to his most sanguine hopes, and Mr. Clarke's efforts resulted second 
only to those of Mr. Stewart. 

Regarding this last named gentleman's post on the Spokane, W. H. Gray records 
in his history of Oregon that: "It is due to those parties to state that, as late as 1836, 
a square solid hewed log bastion, erected by Stewart's 1 party, was still standing at 
Spokane, while no vestage of Thompson's huts could be found in the Flathead country. 
At Spokane garden vegetables were produced about the fort, which the Indians in that 
vicinity learned to appreciate, and continued to cultivate, after the fort was abandoned 
in 1825, having been occupied by the Northwest and Hudson's Bay Companies till 
that time." On the twenty-fifth of May (1813), Mr. Clarke started from his post on 
the Spokane to reach Wallula, the point agreed upon as a general rendezvous, from 
where the different expeditions, after uniting, were to return to Astoria with the furs 
obtained in their operations during the past season. On his way up, Mr. Clarke had 
left his canoes in charge of a Palouse chief, living at the mouth of the river of that 
name, with whom he found them on his return. He had tiventy-eight horse packs of 
furs, and all his men were in high spirits because of the success that had attended their 
year's work. While stopping at the mouth of this stream to repair those canoes, in 
which to embark for Wallula, an incident transpired that cannot well be passed in 

1 This should be John Clarke instead of Stewart. See " Astoria" by Irving, vol. I, pp. 102, HI, 128, and vol. II, pp. 190, 
192, 201. 


Mr. Clarke was a strong disciplinarian, something of an aristocrat, and disposed 
to impress those with whom he came in contact with the dignity of his presence and 
person. He was in the habit of carrying a silver goblet to drink from, and its glitter- 
ing presence, carefully guarded by its possessor, became an object of strange and strong- 
attraction to the superstitious Indians. In all their land, no such wondrous device 
had been seen before. They talked to each other concerning it, watched its appearance, 
and the care with which its lucky possessor laid it away after using, " Like a relic in 
its shrine." Possibly it was a "great medicine," like the spotted shirt and the white 
quilt among the Coeur d'Alenes, or a powerful talisman to ward off danger or shield 
its owner from harm, a sort of ark near which the great Manitou dwelt. One night it 
disappeared, and Mr. Clarke was enraged. He threatened to hang the first Indian 
detected in stealing, and the next night an unfortunate one was caught in the act. A 
hasty trial followed, and the prisoner was condemned to die, when Mr. Clarke made 
the assembled savages a speech. He recounted the numerous gifts that had been 
bestowed, the benefit the white man's presence had been to their people, and then, 
upbraiding them for thefts, told the Indians that he should kill the thief he had cap- 
tured with pilfered goods. The old chief and his followers besought him to not do 
this. They were willing that he should be punished severely, and then let go, but the 
trapper was inexorable, and the poor groveling wretch was dragged to a temporary 
scaffold, constructed from oars, and shrieking with terror, was launched into eternity 
Thus Mr. Clarke had made his record in history as having formed the second white 
settlement, and as being the first of his race to murder an Indian, in what is now 
Washington Territory. The other partners of the Pacific Fur Company were 
unanimous in condemning this act, and Gabriel Franchere, who was one of the 
company clerks, wrote concerning the killing of the unfortunate John Reed and 
his party by Indians the ensuing winter: "We had no doubt that his massacre was an 
act of vengeance, on the part of the natives, in retaliation for the death of one of 
their people, whom Mr. John Clarke had hanged for theft the spring before." Imme- 
diately after this hanging the party embarked for Wallula, where Stewart and 
McKenzie were waiting, and from this point they all continued their way down the 
river, arriving at Astoria, June 12, 1813. 


Upon re-assembling at headquarters, the return expeditions found that, upon 
the whole, it had been a successful year's labor, that the peltry brought in, amount- 
ing to 157 packs, if sold at market rates in Canton, would pay well for the time 
spent, and reimburse them for local losses. In addition to this, they had become well 
established in the fur producing regions, and the outlook was very encouraging 
except for one thing. War had been raging between Great Britain and the United 
States for over a year, and they had recently become aware of this fact. 

On their arrival at Astoria, J. G. McTavish with nineteen men was found camped 
near by, awaiting the arrival of a vessel called the Isaac Todd, sent by the North- 
west Company with stores for them, with letters of marque, and instructions from the 
British government to destroy everything American found on the Pacific coast. This 


latter fact was unknown to our people at the time, however, but the non-arrival of 
supplies by sea, combined with the unfavorable news of British success in arms, led 
the partners to fear that none would reach them. They, consequently, determined to 
abandon the country, and start on their return overland to the States the ensuing year, 
if their misgivings proved well founded. They sold their Spokane fort to McTavish 
for $848, and then furnished that gentleman with provisions to enable his return to 
the upper country; and, in July, visited the interior themselves to gather what furs 
they could, before taking final leave of the country. 

Three months later, McTavish returned to Astoria with a force of seventy-five men 
for the purpose of meeting the vessel that had caused his former visit, bringing, also, 
the news that her coming to the Columbia was for the purpose of capturing Astoria, 
and to assist the Northwest Company in gaining ascendency on the coast. He 
offered to buy the furs of the Astorians, and, on the sixteenth of October, 1813, a 
transfer of the entire stock, worth at least $100,000, was made for less than $40,000. 
Two months later, on December 12, the fort was surrendered to the English under 
command of a naval officer, Captain Black of the Raccoon, when the American flag 
was lowered to give the British colors place, and the name of Astoria was changed to 
"Fort George." 

Thus, American supremacy, over what now includes the territories of Washing- 
ton, Idaho, a portion of Montana, and the state of Oregon, was, for a time extinguished, 
while the question of right remained unchanged. 

Seventy-eight days after the surrender of Astoria to the British, Wilson P. Hunt 
arrived at that fort in the brig Pedlar, and judge of his astonishment, on greeting his 
old partner, Duncan McDougal, whom he found in charge, to learn that this same 
McDougal was a partner no longer of the Pacific, but of the Northwest Fur Com- 
pany; that he held possession not under the American, but under the English flag; 
and that all in which Mr. Hunt was interested on this coast had passed, without a 
struggle, through McDougal's treachery, into the hands of his and his country's 
enemies. Mr. Hunt, finally, secured the papers pertaining to business transactions of 
the Pacific Fur Company, from McDougal, and then sailed, April 3, 1814, from the 
shore that had seemed to yield only misfortune and disaster in return for the efforts of 
himself, and those with whom he was associated. The next day, David Stewart, 
McKenzie, John Clarke and eighty-five other members and employes of the Pacific 
Fur Company started up the Columbia river in their boats on their way across the 
continent to the States, and while passing Wallula, learned from the widow of Pierre 
Dorion, of the massacre (before referred to) of John Reed and his eight associates, 
among the Snake Indians near Fort Henry. 

In turning from this unsuccessful effort, put forth by John Jacob Astor, of New 
York, to hold the northwest territory for the Americans, the writer cannot refrain 
from placing the following before the reader, taken from a work by John Ross Cox, 
an English author. 

" The Indians, at the mouth of the Columbia, knew well that Great Britain and America were 
distinct nations, and that they were then at war, but were ignorant of the arrangement made 
between Messrs. McDougal and McTavish, the former of whom still continued as nominal chief at 
the fort. On the arrival of the Raccoon, which they quickly discovered to be one of King George's 
fighting ships,' they repaired, armed, to the fort, and requested an audience of Mr. McDougal. He 


was somewhat surprised at their numbers and war-like appearance, and demanded the object of 
such an unusual visit. Concomly, the principal chief of the Chinooks, (whose daughter MeDougal 
had married,) thereupon addressed him in a long speech, in the course of which he said that King- 
George had sent a ship full of warriors, and loaded with nothing but big guns, to take the Ameri- 
cans and make them all slaves, and that, as they (the Americans) were the first white men who 
settled in their country, and treated the Indians like good relations, they had resolved to defend 
them from King George's warriors, and were now ready to conceal themselves in the woods close to 
the wharf, from whence they would be able, with their guns and arrows, to shoot all the men that 
should attempt to land from the English boats, while the people in the fort could fire at them with 
their big guns and rifles. This proposition was uttered with an earnestness of manner that 
admitted, no doubt, of its sincerity. Two armed boats from the Raccoon were approaching ; and, 
had the people in the fort felt disposed to accede to the wishes of the Indians, every man in them 
would have been destroyed by an invisible enemy. Mr. MeDougal thanked them for their friendly 
offer, but added, that, notwithstanding the nations were at war, the people in the boats would not 
injure him or any of his people, and therefore requested them to throw by their war shirts and 
arms, and receive the strangers as their friends. They at first seemed astonished at this answer ; 
but, on assuring them, in the most positive manner, that he was under no apprehension, they con- 
sented to give up their weapons for a few days. They afterwards declared they were sorry for 
having complied with Mr. McDougal's wishes ; for when they observed Captain Black, surrounded 
by his officers and marines, break the bottle of Port on the flag-staff, and hoist the British ensign, 
after changing the name of the fort, they remarked that, however we might wish to conceal the 
fact, the Americans were undoubtedly made slaves." 





At the close of the third chapter of this work, reference is made to the occupation 
north of, and near San Francisco by the Russians, in 1812. When the Northwest 
Company, aided by the British government, drove the Americans from this coast in 
1814, there were left to occupy it, the Russians, the English and the Spaniards. The 
Russian post at Bodega in California was an agricultural depot and supply station for 
their establishments in Russian America, and years later was abandoned upon request 
by our government. The Czar never claimed territory south of the fifty-first degree 
of north latitude, and a treaty soon limited his demands to 54 degrees and 40 minutes. 
England had disputed with Spain a right to territory on this coast, but had transferred 
to France, in 1763, whatever she claimed west of the Mississippi river. 

In 1803, France sold to the United States all her possessions in America, and it 
would therefore seem, that our country had purchased whatever rights either England 
or France possessed, west of the Mississippi river, leaving the issue, if any existed, 
between our people and Spain only. Notwithstanding these facts, England, although 


having ceded her rights to France, determined to still urge a claim to the country, but 
expressed a willingness to make the Columbia river the line of division between her 
possessions and the United States, west of the Rocky mountains. To this our govern- 
ment would not agree, and the boundary line was therefore not designated in the 
Treaty of Ghent that invoked peace in 1814, the question being left for future nego- 

When this treaty was executed, it was not known by the signers that Astoria had 
fallen into the hands of the English, consequently, no question arose in regard thereto. 
It was arranged, however, that all places captured by either power should be restored, 
and in pursuance of this agreement, Astoria was re-delivered to an agent of our gov- 
ernment, October 6, 1818. 

The restoration was only formal, the occupation remaining with the Northwest 
Company, as before. On the twentieth of that same month, an agreement was signed, 
that gave the citizens of both England and the United States, equal privileges in, and 
right to the occupancy of the disputed territory, which still left the question of right to 
tin- soil unsettled, and thus it remained until the treaty of 1846. 

Four months after this temporary settlement of the boundary dispute between the 
United States and Great Britain, by the agreement that permitted joint occupancy, 
Spain ceded to to the United States by the Florida Treaty of February 22, 1819, her 
entire interest in all of the Pacific Coast, north of the line that now divides Oregon 
from California. This gave to the United States, title by treaty, from England, France 
and Spain, all of the powers that had ever contended for it, to which was added her 
right by discovery, exploration and occupation, and still England laid claim to the 


A fierce competition had sprung up between the Northwest and Hudson's Bay 
Companies, east of. the Rocky mountains. The same year that Astor's Pacific Fur 
Company left the coast, this rivalry developed into an armed contest, that resulted in a 
battle on the nineteenth of June, 1816, in which seventeen persons were killed in 
defending a post on Red river, that was captured by the Northwest Company. 
The latter remained temporary masters of the field, but the English ministry taking 
the affair in hand, forced the rival companies to compromise, and the two were merged 
under the name of "The Honorable Hudson's Bay Company." Thus, in 1824, the 
corporation that had forced Astor's associates to abandon the coast, ceased to exist, and 
the Hudson's Bay Company, in place of it, became the occupants of the country adja- 
cent to the Columbia river and its tributaries. 

Our government sent an expedition to learn what of value existed in the region 
adjacent to the Rocky mountains immediately after the Florida Treaty was signed. 
The report rendered was that a belt of country five hundred miles wide, extending 
north through the American possessions, along the east base of those mountains, was a 
desert of sand, worthless for agricultural purposes. An opinion soon became prevalent 
in the States, that there was a similar one, more sterile, west of that range, and as 
Greenhow in his excellent history states it: 

" These circumstances, as they became known through the United States, rendered the people 


and their representatives in the'Federa) Legislature more and more indifferent with regard to the 
territories on the northwestern side of the continent. It became always difficult, and generally 
impossible, to engage the attention of Congress to any matters connected with those countries: 
emigrants from the populous States of the Union would not banish themselves to the distant shores 
of the Pacific, whilst they could obtain the best lands on the Mississippi and its branches at moder- 
ate prices; and capitalists would not vest their funds in establishments for the administration and 
continued possession of which they could have no guarantee. From 1813 until 1823, few, if any, 
American citizens were employed in the countries west of the Rocky mountains; and ten years 
more elapsed before any settlement was formed, or even attempted, by them in that part of the 

In the meantime, the English fur companies had extended and perfected their 
system of occupation; had erected numerous fortifications along the rivers; had trans- 
ferred the good will of the savage tribes, from the Americans, to the English and their 
French employes; and the country had become, except as to the land title, as much a 
province of Great Britain as was Canada itself. There was but one obstacle in their 
way, the mere question of right to the soil, and the world's history teaches, that, when 
two nations disagree upon a question regarding their interests, the stronger prevails 
regardless of other considerations; and, in this case, the Americans were drifting 
gradually into a belief that the country was not worth contending for, All that 
seemed of value therein was its furs, and the English companies having a right to 
gather these, were already established, and the American citizens to avail themselves 
of the same privilege, must enter into competition, with every advantage against them. 
Because of all this, in 1824, the chances were strongly in favor of England's, eventually, 
cutting the United States off from the Pacific Coast. The fact that she did not is due 
far more to individual, than national efforts. 


In 1823, W. H. Ashley, of St. Louis, at the head of a number of trappers, start- 
ing from that city (then a mere village), entered the Rocky mountains by way of the 
South pass, and reaching Green river, trapped that region, and returned the same year 
with a valuable stock of furs. In 1824, he came back to Green river, discovered Salt 
Lake, and near it, to the southeast, another smaller one, to which he gave his own 
name. He built a fort by Lake Ashley, and leaving a hundred men to trap the 
country, returned that autumn to St. Louis. 

This was the entering wedge, the first establishment by Americans west of the 
Rocky mountains, after the surrender of Astoria eleven years before. To follow the 
numerous changes by purchase, sale and consolidation among the American fur com- 
panies and leaders of mountain men, that took place in the succeeding years, would be 
tedious to most readers, therefore they will not be given. It will be sufficient, perhaps, 
to glance briefly at the efforts put forth by the American mountaineers, to occupy the 
coast jointly with the Englislt. 


In 1825, a partner of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, named Jedediah S. 
Smith, starting from his rendezvous on the Yellow Stone river, crossed the country to 
Sacramento, California, with forty men, and established a temporary fort at the present 


site of Folsoni on the American river in that state. While traversing the Great Basin 
at this time, he discovered an inland river, to which he gave the name of his Indian 
wife, 3Ia>'y, but the stream is now known as the Humboldt. In October of the same 
year, with two men only to accompany him, the remainder of his party having been 
left to trap the Sacramento and its tributaries, he re-crossed the mountains to Salt Lake, 
and, in doing so, discovered Mono lake, and gold in its vicinity. 

His partners, Milton Sublette and David Jackson were so well pleased with what 
he had discovered and accomplished, that upon consultation, it was determined to 
purchase Mr. Ashley's interests in the fur trade, and for Smith to start in the 
following spring, and make a more extensve tour of exploration with a view of enlarg- 
ing their field of operations. To execute this design, he started in 182(5, southwest 
from Salt Lake with a number of men, reached and trapped the Colorado river, and 
having passed down that stream to near the California gulf, was attacked by Arizona 
Indians. From the battle that ensued, Smith and two of his men only escaped with 
lives, and the three, upon reaching the Spanish settlements on the coast were arrested 
as fillibusters. They were finally released through the intercession of several Amer- 
ican sea captains, who were on the coast at that time; when resuming their forlorn 
way towards the north through California, they reached their station on the American 
river in May, 1827. Over a year had passed, since Smith started on this second expe- 
dition to these new fur regions, and thus far disaster and misfortune had been the only 
reward for his efforts. But, on his arrival at the California rendezvous, he found that 
the party left by him in that locality, in 1825, had been very successful. This was a 
transient twilight gleam, giving, with its parting light, a brief check to the gathering 
night that was closing upon the life of this pioneer of California and of Oregon. 
With the men found at this station, he started with the furs they had gathered, to reach 
the Columbia river in the north, from whence he purposed ascending that stream to 
the Rocky mountains, along which he contemplated passing south, to meet his partners 
in their old trapping grounds. 

From near the north end of Sacramento valley, they passed westerly to the Pacific 
ocean, thence up the coast to Umpqua river. While stopping at this place, among 
what were supposed to be friendly Indians, in the absence .of Smith and a companion 
who were searching for a ford, the camp was surprised, and all its occupants murdered 
except one, who eventually reached Fort Vancouver. Smith and the man who had 
accompanied him, being on a raft at the time, saw what was taking j)lace. An Indian 
who was with them at the time, seizing Smith's rifle jumped into the stream ; but his 
head was hardly out of water to catch breath, when the old mountaineer sent a bullet 
through it from the weaj)on of his companion, that the savage had failed to get hold of. 
The raft was landed on the opposite bank from where this last frontier tragedy had 
been enacted, and the two fugitives made their uncertain way through the country to 
the north for some two hundred miles, until Fort Vancouver was reached on the 

They were kindly received by Governor Simpson of the Hudson's Bay Company, 
who being there at the time, fitted out an expedition under command of Thomas 
McKay, that went down among the Indians to get from them the peltry captured from 
the American trappers. The furs, $40,000 worth, were given up by the natives to Mr. 

"_ - T' •--',^:>tt- -: .!jto. 




A.6. Wfit-LINB, IITH. PORTLAND, Oft . 


McKay, and were sold by Mr. Smith to the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1829, Smith 
reached the Rocky mountains in company with Peter Ogden of the Hudson's Bay 
Company, where he was found at Pierre's Hole by a party of trappers, among whom 
was Joe Meek, sent out by Sublette to search for this partner, whose extended absence 
led to fears among his associates that he had been killed by Indians. 

Smith's associate survivor of the Umpqua massacre guided a trapping brigade of 
Hudson's Bay men, under A. R. McLeod, into California, and the Americans practi- 
cally lost the benefits of that rich field, which thus passed, as had the Columbia 
country, under control of this British fur corporation. 

Such was the result of the first effort at joint occupancy with the English, of the 
Columbia country, by citizens of the United States, and there has a question arisen in 
regard to the influences producing the result, that is of serious moment, at least, to an 

With one exception alL authors referring to this matter, whose works have been 
examined by the writer, unite in statements which convey to the reader an impression, 
that the Hudson's Bay Company chastised the Indians severely for their attack upon 
Smith's party; that they recovered, and restored the stolen peltry to their American 
rival; that they offered him a passage, and to take his furs to London in their vessel, 
where he could have the benefit of the world's market; that they purchased them 
of him, after he had declined this offer; and, in every way, treated him with such 
Christ-like disinterested magnanimity that Smith yielded his California range to them, 
and refused to join his partners in further competition with such grand exenrplars of a 
business millennium. Previous to this, guided by the only light possessed upon this 
subject, we confess to having followed this general lead, in giving the Hudson's Bay 
Company credit for those acts, but always with a mental skepticism, as it seemed an 
unnatural thing for them to do. It was contrary to our experience of human nature, 
and was a business policy having no parallel, therefore, it caused no surprise when we 
learned that more recent research had disclosed testimony that warrants a supplement to 
the hitherto accepted history of those events. 

W. H. Gray, in criticising the account of this affair by Rev. Gustavus Hines, gives 
the following as the sequel to the Umpqua tragedy: 

" Rev. Mr. Hines' savage-looking chief was no less a personage than a slave of a Frenchman 
by the name of Michel, or rather belonging to Michel's Umpqua wife. This slave had learned, 
from the statements and talk he had heard at Vancouver, that in case the Indians killed and robbed 
the Boston men, there would be no harm to them; that neither the Hudson's Bay Company nor the 
English or French would take any notice of it. Hence, the Indians were taught to regard the 
killing of a Boston man (American) as doing something that pleased the Hudson's Bay Company . 
Under this instruction, it is said, this slave ran away from Vancouver, and went back to his people, 
and was the cause of the massacre of Smith's party. * * * * The story of the 

Indian slave's part in the massacre of Smith's party is related to us by Mrs. Smith, the wife of 
S. H. Smith, an intelligent and much respected native woman, a neighbor, of ours for nearly twenty 
years, and by one of the men that accompanied McKay to recover the property. " 

The property was recovered, "by giving them presents of blankets and powder, and such 
things as the Indians wished, as stated to us by a Frenchman, a servant of the company, who was 
one of Mr. McKay's party that went to get the furs. They found no bodies to bury, and had no 
fight with the Indians about property, as stated by Mr. Smith, also. But, as the Hudson's Bay 
Company tells the story through Mr. Hines, they 'spread terror through the ttibes.' * 

Mr. Hines says his Umpqua party 'returned in triumph to Vancouver.' And well they might, for they 


had made the best season's hunt they ever made, in getting those furs and the property of Smith, 
which paid them well for the expedition, as there was no market for Smith, except London, through 
the hypocritical kindness of Mr. Simpson. By this time, Mr. Smith had learned all he wished to of 
this company. He preferred giving them his furs at their own price to being under any further 
obligations to them. Mr. Sublette, Mr. Smith's partner, did not speak as though he felt under much 
obligation to Mr. Simpson or the Hudson's Bay Company, which was not long after the transaction 
referred to. I do not know how the company regard these statements of Mr. Hines, yet I regard 
them as true so far as Mr. Hines is concerned, but utterly false as regards the company. * * * 
According to the testimony given in the case of the Hudson's Bay Company vs. United States, the 
amount of furs seized by the Company at that time was forty packs, worth at the time $1,000 
each, besides the animals and equipments belonging to the party, a large portion of which was 
given to the Indians, to compensate them for their services rendered to the company, in destroying 
Smith's expedition and killing his men." 


In 1828, while Smith was still with the Hudson's Bay Company, prior to his return 
to the Rocky mountains, an American trapper known as Major Pilcher, leaving the 
Green river country ,witli a party, passed north along the west base of the Rocky range to 
Fleathead lake in what now is called Montana, where he remained during the ensuing 
winter. In the spring of 1829, he passed down Clarke's fork and the Columbia 
river to Fort Colville, and thence up the latter stream to its source, from which point 
he crossed to the east and returned to the States. W. H. Gray in his Oregon history, 
page 39, states that: "This party of Major Pilcher were all cut off but two men, besides 
himself; his furs, as stated by himself to the writer, found their way into the forts of 
the Hudson's Bay Company." 

For four years succeeding this, the Hudson's Bay Comjjany remained sole and 
undisturbed occupants of the disputed region until 1834, when Capt. B. L. E. Bonne- 
ville, with three companions, penetrated it as far as Fort Walla Walla. This gentleman 
was a United States army officer, who had been given permission to lead a party of 
trappers into the fur regions of the northwest, the expedition being countenanced by 
the government only to the extent of this permit. It was supposed, that, by such an 
undertaking, headed by a government officer, sufficient additional information of the 
region explored would be obtained to warrant authorizing such an officer to engage in 
a private venture. 

The Captain first reached the Rocky mountains in 1832. In 1833, he sent 
Joseph Walker with forty men to California over the route formerly pursued by 
Smith; and on Christmas of the same year started from his camp on the Portneuf 
river, upon his expedition, as stated, to Fort Walla Walla. His object, as given by 
Irving, was: "To make himself acquainted with the country, and the Indian tribes; 
it being one part of his scheme, to establish a trading post somewhere on the lower 
part of the river, so as to participate in the trade lost to the United States by the cap- 
ture of Astoria." He reached Powder river on the twelfth of January, 1834, whence 
his journey was continued down Snake river, on the west side, until the mouth of 
Alpowa creek was reached. The old Nez Perce trail was taken, up that stream, across 
to the Touchet, and thence to Fort Walla Walla on the Columbia river, where he 
arrived March 4, 1834. 


This journey, in mid- winter, was attended with its accompanying detail of hard- 
ships incident to the season, including the absence of game and presence of snow in 
the mountains. At one time, they had wandered among the Blue mountains, lost amid 
its canons and denies east of the Grand Ronde valley, for twenty days, nearly frozen 
and constantly starved, until they were at the verge of despair. At length, a Nez 
Perce chief was met, who invited them to his lodge some twelve miles farther along 
the trail they were traveling, and he then galloped away. So great had been the strain 
upon the Captain's system in sustaining these successive days of unnatural exertion, 
that, when the chief disappeared, he sunk upon the ground in a dreamless sleep, a 
kind of lethargy, and lay there like one dead. His companions tried in vain to 
arouse him. It was a useless effort, and they were forced to camp by the trail, until he 
awoke from this trance the next day, and was enabled to move on. They had hardly 
resumed their tedious journey, when some dozen Nez Perces rode up with fresh horses 
and carried them in triumph to their village. Everywhere, after this, they were kindly 
received by this hospitable people, fed, cared for and guided on their way Dy them. 

- Bonneville and his two companions were kindly received at Fort Walla Walla by 
Mr. P. C. Pambrun, who with five or six men, was in charge of that station at the 
mouth of the Walla. Walla river. This Hudson's Bay Company representative, was in 
fact, a courteous affable host, but when asked to sell the Captain supplies that would 
enable his return to the Rocky mountains: "That worthy superintendent, who had 
extended all the genial rights of hospitality, now suddenly assumed a withered up 
aspect and demeanor, and observed that, however he might feel disposed to serve him 
personally, he felt bound, by his duty to the Hudson's Bay Company to do nothing 
which should facilitate, or encourage the visits of other traders among the Indians in 
that part of the country." Bonneville remained at the fort but two days, for his des- 
titute condition, combined with the lateness in the season, rendered it necessary for 
him to return immediately ; and he started on the back trail, with his Nez Perces guide, 
March 6, and finally reached the point of general rendezvous for his various 

In July of the same year, he started on a second expedition to the Columbia, with 
a formidable number of trappers and mountain men, well equipped, and with an exten- 
sive store of goods to traffic with Indians. He still contemplated a restoration of 
American trade in this country, and designed establishing a post for that purpose in 
the Willamette valley. This time he passed the Blue mountains by way of Grand 
Ronde valley and the Umatilla river, and upon his arrival at the mouth of that stream, 
was surprised to find the natives shunning him. They ran from his men, hid them- 
selves, and when intercepted, refused to have anything to do with the Americans. Not 
a skin, a horse, a dog, or a fish could be obtained from them, having been warned by 
the Hudson's Bay Company not to traffic with these new comers. Such was the change 
that had been effected and absolute control obtained, by this British fur company, among 
the Indians of the Columbia who would have entered upon the war-path a few years 
earlier to have driven the English out of the country, had the Americans wished 
them to do so. It now seemed a question of immediate evacuation or starvation, and 
Bonneville decided to abandon his attempt ah joint occupancy. Once more he turned 


his back upon the Great river, and sought the former fields of his trapping ventures, 
passing in his retreat, over a new route by way of John Day's river. 

nathaniel j. wyeth's expeditions and failures result in giving to the 
Hudson's bay company exclusive control of the country. 

Nathaniel J. Wyeth of Boston, with eleven men who knew nothing of the life of 
either a trapper or mountaineer, had crossed the plains to Humboldt river with Milton 
Sublette in 1832. From this point the twelve had pushed north to Snake river, and 
by way of that stream to Fort Vancouver near the Columbia's mouth, where they 
arrived October 29. The fortune of Mr. Wyeth was invested in this enterprise and he 
had brought a stock of goods with him not well adapted to the Indian market. He 
was hospitably received by the Hudson's Bay Company; and the next spring he left 
for the East, a financial bankrupt, deserted by all of his followers except two. It is 
not recorded that this British company exerted an influence, or, in any way, contributed 
towards producing this result; but, if they did not, it was because they believed it 
unnecessary, knowing that failure would follow without their manipulation. 

Arriving in Boston, Mr. Wyeth organized "The Columbia River Fishing and 
Trading Company," with a view of continuing operations on the Pacific coast, under 
the same general plan that had formerly been pursued by Astor; proposing, however, 
to add salmon fishing to the fur business. A brig, called the May Decres, sailed for 
the Columbia river with stores, and Mr. Wyeth with sixty experienced men, started for 
the same place and across the continent in 1834. Near the head waters of Snake 
river, he established Fort Hall as an interior trading post, where he left twelve men 
and a stock of goods. He then pushed forward to the Columbia and erected a 
fort on Sauvies island at the mouth of the Willamette river, that he called Fort Wil- 
liams; and again the American flag waved over soil west of the Rocky mountains. 
Once more he was courteously received by the Hudson's Bay Company ; and, once 
more he Avas reduced to the necessity of selling out to that corporation, and of aban- 
doning the country two years later. 

Washington Irving, in mentioning this affair, observes that: "It is with extreme 
regret, we learn that he has recently been compelled to dispose of his establishments 
to the Hudson's Bay Company; who, it is but justice to say, have, 
according to his own account, treated him, throughout the whole of his enterprise, with 
great fairness, friendship, and liberality." Accepting this as correct, it does not follow 
that the motive influencing the policy of that comjoany had changed, since its recep- 
tion of Bonneville and his predecessors. It was just as important to prevent American 
competition under Wyeth as under Bonneville, Smith, or Pilcher; a remedy in each 
instance being applied that was likely to cure the disease. Wyeth's weakness was lack 
of finances to tide over adversity. The Rocky Mountain Fur Company refused to take 
his goods, although Sublette's promise to do so had caused Wyeth to lay in a supply for 
that purpose ; and he became embarrassed. The time soon came, when there was more 
money to be saved by selling to the English company, than in continuing in opposition 
to it, and the problem was solved. Wyeth was converted from rivalry to friend- 
shij) by a purchase of his property, and the Hudson's Bay Company had not only once 


more cleared the country of competition, but had gained by getting Fort Hall, a trad- 
ing post in a region where it was embarrassing to the American trappers in the Rocky 
mountains and the Salt Lake country. 

This was the last recorded effort, by citizens of the United States, to compete for 
the fur traffic in the territory lying west of the Rocky mountains, and north of the 
line that now divides Oregon from California. 

The sale of Fort Hall was the beginning of the end to organized American com- 
petition in trapping, which was all concentrated in 1835, under the name of Ameri- 
can Fur Company; but the diminishing stock of fur-producing animals, combined 
with the able and merciless oj>position of the Hudson's Bay Company, gradually drove 
this last company from the mountains, and to disorganization. Straggling bands of fur 
trappers continued in the business for a few years, but their number gradually melted 
away, until there is now left but a pitiful remanant of those former knights of the 



Accompanying N. J. Wyeth across the continent to Fort Hall, in 1834, were 
several American missionaries, whose object in penetrating the wilderness was to benefit 
the human species. There were neither honors-, earthly preferment nor wealth to be 
gained by such action; their expectant reward being an approving conscience, with 
results to be gathered in eternity. One hundred and thirty-seven years before, an- 
other band of missionaries, with just as pure and lofty motives, and with similar pur- 
jwse, leading the van of civilization, had founded a mission in Lower California, from 
when and where dates the first permanent occupation by the white race of the Pacific 
Coast. Sixty-five years prior to 1834, another missionary seeking to benefit humanity, 
had led to San Diego, in Upper California, a mission colony which paved the way for 
all that followed in the Golden State. First, the Jesuits had come to the peninsula, 
then the Franciscan Catholics to California, and finally the Methodists to Oregon ; 
where they became Christ's standard bearers, whose efforts had led to a kind of settle- 
ment that resulted in civilization on this Coast. It matters little whether it is a Jesuit, 
a Franciscan or a Protestant, whose instincts lead him to seek benefits for others, it 
being the motive prompting the man, and not the name of the church one honors. 

The pioneer missionaries, therefore, regardless of the denomination to which they 
belonged, should be held in grateful remembrance by those who now, or hereafter, reap 
benefits germinated though their pious zeal, though nurtured and developed to 
fruition by other hands. 



Those accompanying Mr. Wyeth were, Rev. Jason Lee, his nephew Rev. Daniel 
Lee, Cyrus Shepard and P. L. Edwards, also Dr. Natall, a naturalist, and J. K. Town- 
send, an ornithologist. The two last named were sent by a Boston literary society, and 
the others by the Methodist Missionary Board of the United States. They left Mr. 
Wyeth's party, who were delayed in the erection of Fort Hall, and passed over the 
remaining distance in company with A. R. McLeod and Thomas McKay of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, reaching Fort Walla Walla, September 1, and by boats, Vancouver, 
the fifteenth of the same month, in 1834. A location for a mission, was immediately 
selected at a point on the Willamette river, some sixty miles up from its mouth, and 
ten below what now is Salem the State capital of Oregon. Their mission goods, 
brought around by Wyeth's vessel, landed at this place on the sixth of October, twenty- 
one days after their arrival at Vancouver. A house was soon constructed from logs, 
32 feet by 18, which they entered November 3, there being at the time but ten feet of 
the roof completed. So eager were they to commence labor as missionaries, that 
before the roof tvas all on their building, Indian children were received into it as pupils. 
December 14, Jason Lee, while at Vancouver, baptized twenty-one persons, among whom 
were seventeen children; and he received a donation of twenty dollars to aid the mis- 
sionary work from persons living at that fort. Thus had commenced the harvest of 
their hopes, the gathering of first fruits from their labors in the wilderness bordering 
the great ocean, where the sun set beyond America. 

They were in Oregon; not like Wyeth to make money by competition with the 
Hudson's Bay Company; not like the Hudson's Bay and all other fur conrpanies to 
use the natives of the country as a means to gain wealth ; not as a colonization society 
to encourage American or other emigration that would either endanger or aid the 
British fur company's interests ; but, on the contrary, they had come to isolation, pos- 
sibly martyrdom, with the simple sole purpose of elevating the mental and spiritual 
condition of whomsoever was found in the country, regardless of nationality, race, 
color or condition. Because of all this, they were kindly and hospitably received by 
all, including the monster corporation which, at that time, controlled the destinies of 
this Coast from the Russian possessions to the 42d parallel. 

Their plan was to educate the Indian, and teach him how to make the soil yield a 
livelihood. To do this, they proposed opening a school for children, where they should 
live, learn to read, worship God and till the soil. To carry out this design, it was 
necessary for the missionaries to become farmers, and produce the food required for 
themselves and the support of their pupils. The agricultural branch of their enter- 
j)rise was inaugurated in the spring of 1835. Their first harvest yielded them two 
hundred and fifty bushels of potatoes, a quantity of wheat, barley, oats and j)eas, to 
which were added six barrels of salmon procured from the Indians. In September of 
this year, the mission people were attacked by an intermittent fever, from which four 
Indian pupils died. This was a misfortune, as it caused the superstitious natives to 
look with mistrust upon an institution, where the Great Spirit killed instead of bene- 
fiting their children. One Indian even visited the place for the purpose of killing 


Daniel Lee and Cyrus Shepard, because his little brother had died at the mission, but 
was prevented from doing so by a companion, when he crossed to the opposite side of 
the river and murdered several of his own race, to satisfy his unappeased wrath at the 
"white medicines." During that fall, a 16 by 32 foot addition was built to their prem- 
ises, and the close of 1835 found them with comfortable log buildings, a reasonable 
supply of provisions for the winter, and only ten pupils. 


The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions sent, in 1835, 
Rev. Samuel Parker and Dr. Marcus Whitman to the Pacific Coast, to seek an eligible 
point among the tribes in Oregon, where a Presbyterian mission could be established. 
Under ]3rotection of the American Fur Company they reached the trappers' rendez- 
vous in the Rocky mountains, where a large portion of the Nez Perce and other 
tribes had assembled for the purpose of trade. 

There was a young Nez Perce chief at the rendezvous on Green river, whom the 
whites called Lawyer, because of a marked ability displayed by him in repartee and 
discussion, that could readily be awakened into active play by reflecting upon the acts 
or motives of his American friends. Upon consultation with this chief, it was deter- 
mined to establish a mission among his people, this decision being hastened because 
of the peculiar characteristics of the two missionaries, which rendered them ill- 
calculated for traveling companions. To carry out this arrangement, Dr. Whitman 
was to return to the States, accompanied by two Nez Perce boys, and come back 
the ensuing year with the necessary material and associates for an establishment. 
Rev. Samuel Parker was to continue his way to the Pacific ocean, decide upon the 
best point for a mission among the Nez Perces, and then send, by Indian source, 
a letter of advice, to meet Whitman in the mountains on his way out the next 

To carry out this arrangement, they separated August 22, 1835, one turning back 
upon the trail that led him to a martyr's grave; the other, with an interpreter, pushing 
forward in a triumphal journey among the Indians to the sea. No white man, before 
or since, has been received with such cordiality and ceremonious distinction, as greeted 
Mr. Parker on his way through Eastern Oregon to Walla Walla. His approach tojni 
Indian village was the signal for a general display of savage grandeur and hospitality. 
Since their first knowledge of Avhite men they had seen that the pale-face belonged to 
a superior race, and had heard that he worshiped a Great Spirit, a mysterious unseen 
power, that made him what he was. The Indians now hoped to learn how they, too, 
could gain favor with this Manitou, whose smiles gave power to his followers and 
happiness to those who worshiped him. Now, when one had come among them as a 
messenger from that Great Unknown, who they believed, could bring, or withhold, the 
favor of the white man's god, they received him everywhere with outstretched arms 
and demonstrations of unbounded gladness. In describing some of those rude ovations 
and efforts to show their eager desire to see by the new light, Mr. Parker wrote : 

" We continued in our encampment, to give the band of Nez Perces an opportunity to join us, 
and about the middle of the day they came ; the principal chief marching in front with his aid, 
carrying an American flag by his side. They all sung a march, while a few beat a sort of drum. 


As they drew near they displayed columns, and made quite an imposing appearance. The women 
and children followed in the rear, Tai-quin-su-wa-tish, and other chiefs, arranged their people in 
the same order and went out to meet them; and when we had approached within ten rods of each 
other, all halted, and a salute was fired, in which I had to take the lead. They then dismounted, 
and both bands formed into single file, and meeting, shook hands with me and each other in 
token of friendship, and to express* their joy to see one come among them to teach them respecting 
God and salvation. The principal chief of the other band, who is called Charlie, and is the first 
chief of the Nez Perce nation, is a good looking man, his countenance rather stern, intelligent and 
expressive of much decision of character. I never saw joy expressed in a more dignified manner, than 
when he took me firmly by the hand and welcomed me" 

The next day was Sunday, and Mr. Parker being requested to talk to them, sug- 
gested that they construct from their tents a temporary church, and he describes the 
result as follows : 

" I found them all assembled, men, women and children, between four and five hundred, in 
what I Avould call a sanctuary of God, constructed with their lodges, nearly one hundred feet long 
and about twenty feet wide ; and all were arranged in rows, through the length of the building 
upon their knees, with a narrow space in the middle, lengthwise, resembling an aisle. The whole 
area within was carpeted with their dressed skins, and they were all in their best attire. The chiefs 
were arranged in a semi-circle at the end which I was to occupy. I could not have believed they had 
the means, or could have known how to erect so convenient and so decent a place for worship, and 
especially as it was the first time they had ever had public worship. The whole sight affected me, and 
filled me with admiration ; and I felt as though it was the house of God and the gate of heaven. 

"I never spoke to a more interesting assembly, and would not have changed my audience for 
any other upon earth ; and I felt that it was worth a journey across the Rocky mountains, to enjoy 
this one opportunity with these heathen, who are so anxious to obtain a knowledge of God." 
Speaking of their attention to his personal comforts, he says: 

" They are very kind, and manifest their kindness in anticipating all, and more than all my 
wants, which they have the power to supply. They consult me upon all their important business, 
and are ready to follow my counsels. They are attentive to furnish little comforts. If the sun 
shines with much warmth into my tent, they will cut green bushes and set them up for shade. A 
few days since, we encamped where there were some fragrant plants of a species of mint, and the 
wife of Tai-quin-su-wa-tish, with a few other women, collected a quantity, and strewed them in my 

October 5, Mr. Parker, with his interpreter and guides, passed down the Touchet 
river and reached Fort Walla Walla the next day, where he was hospitably received 
by P. C Pambrun, the commandant in charge. From there he continued his way 
down the Columbia to Fort Vancouver, where he spent the winter. In the spring he 
revisited the Nez Perces, went as far north as Spokane and Colville, and returning to 
Vancouver embarked for home by way of the Sandwich Islands in June, 1836. He 
then published a book entitled "Parker's Exploring Tour beyond the Rocky Mountains," 
from which we take a summary of the condition of Oregon in 1835, at the time of his 

OREGON" in 1835. 

Fort Vancouver on the Columbia, under charge of Dr. John McLaughlin, was 
established in 1824, and consisted of an inclosure by stockade, thirty-seven rods long 
by eighteen wide, that faced to the south. About one hundred persons were employed 
at the place, and some three hundred Indians lived in the immediate vicinity. There 
were eight substantial buildings within the stockade, and a large number of small 


ones on the outside. There were 459 cattle, 100 horses, 200 sheep, 40 goats and 300 
hogs belonging to the company at this place; and, during the season of 1835, the crops 
produced in that vicinity amounted to 5,000 bushels of wheat, 1,300 bushels of pota- 
toes, 1,000 bushels of barley, 1,000 bushels of oats, 2,000 bushels of peas, and garden 
vegetables in proportion. The garden containing five acres, besides its vegetable pro- 
ducts, included apples, peaches, grapes and strawberries. A grist mill, with machinery 
propelled by oxen, was kept in constant use, while some six miles up the Columbia, 
was a saw mill containing several saws, which supplied lumber for the Hudson's Bay 
Company. Within the fort was a bakery employing three men, also shops for black- 
smith, joiners, carpenters and a tinner. 

Fort Williams, erected by N. J. Wyeth at the mouth of the Willamette, was nearly 
deserted, Mr. Townsend, the ornithologist, being about the only occupant at that time. 
Wyeth had gone to his Fort Hall in the interior. Of Astoria, at the mouth of the 
Columbia, but two log houses and a garden remained, where two white men dragged 
out a dull existence to maintain possession of the historic ground. Its ancient, romantic 
grandeur had departed from its walls, when dismantled to assist in the construction and 
defences of its rival, Fort Vancouver. Up the Willamette river was the Methodist mission, 
in the condition already noted, while between it and the present site of Oregon City, was the 
Hudson's Bay Company's French settlements of Gervais and McKay, containing some 
twenty families whose children were being taught by young Americans. In one of 
these settlements a grist mill had just been completed. East of the Cascade mountains. 
Fort Walla Walla was situated at the mouth of a river by that name. It was "Built 
of logs and was internally arranged to answer the purpose of trade and domestic com- 
fort, and externally for defense, having two bastions, and was surrounded by a stock- 
ade." It was accidently burned in 1841 and rebuilt of adobe within a year. At this 
point the company had, "Horses, cows, hogs, fowls, and they cultivated corn, potatoes, 
and a variety of garden vegetables." This fort was used for a trading post, where 
goods were stored for traffic with the Indians. Fort Colville, on the Columbia a little 
above Kettle falls, near the present north line of Washington Territory, a strongly 
stockaded post, was occupied by a half dozen white men with Indian families, and 
Mr. McDonald was in charge. Fort Okinagan, at the mouth of a river of that name, 
established by David Stewart in 1811, was, in the absence of Mr. Ogden, in charge of 
a single white man. Concerning Fort Hall nothing is said ; but it fell into the hands 
of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1836. It was then a stockaded fort, but was re-built 
with adobes in 1838. Mr. Parker is also silent in regard to Fort Boise, which was con- 
structed on Snake river from poles in 1834, as a rival establishment to Fort Hall, was 
occupied in 1835 by the Hudson's Bay Company, and later was more substantially 
constructed from adobe. If there were other establishments in 1835, west of the 
Rocky mountains, between the forty-second and forty-ninth parallels, the writer has 
failed to obtain evidences of them. 


Gaining his information from the Hudson's Bay Company, Mr. Parker stated the 
strength of several Indian tribes as follows: Cay uses, peaceable, honest, hospitable, and 
number 2,000; Walla Wallas are like the Cayuses, and number over 500; Nez Perces 

66 . OREGON. 

are like the Cayuses, and number over 2,000; Palouses are like the Cayuses, and num- 
ber 300; Spokane, he affirms, should be spelled Spokein, meaning children of the sun, 
they number about 800; Coeur oV Alenes, civil, honest, kind, and number 700; Flat- 
heads, dignified, noble, frank, generous, always friendly to whites, number 800; Pend 
oV Oreilles, like the Flatheads, number 2,200; Kettle Fall Indians, number 560; Okin- 
agans, number 1,050; Yakimas, number about 700. He estimated the number of 
Indians, between the Cascade and Rocky mountains, within reach for missionary 
labors, at 64,000. 

Such was Oregon at the close of. 1835, with over 70,000 Indians, with her two 
American trading posts, with her one established mission, and possibly eight Ameri- 
can residents, who were not professional trappers; and over all, ruling with an object 
single to her commercial interests, presided the overshadowing influence of the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, striving to convert the country into a province ol Great Britain. 


Of the American arrivals, three in 1832 and twenty-two in 1834, who became 
residents of Oregon, W. H. Gray gives the names of the following: With Jason Lee's 
party, besides himself, were Daniel Lee, Cyrus Shepard, P. L. Edwards and Courtney 
M. Walker. From Captain Wyeth's party of 1832 there remained S. H. Smith, 
Sergeant, and Tibbets a stone cutter, and from his party of 1834, James O'Neil and 
T. J. Hubbard. From the wreck of the William and Ann, a survivor named Felix 
Hathaway still remained. With Ewing Young from California in 1834, a party came 
who remained in Oregon, consisting of Joseph Gale who died in Union county that 
State in 1882, John McCarty, Carmichael, John Hauxhurst, John Howard, Kilborn, 
Brandywine and a colored man named George Winslow. An English sailor named 
Richard McCary, reached the Willamette from the Rocky mountains that year, as did 
also, Capt. J. H. Couch, G. W. Le Breton, John McCaddan and William Johnson 
from the brig Maryland. This made twenty-five residents at the close of 1834, who 
were not in any way connected with the Hudson's Bay Comj)any, all of whom were 
here for other than transient purposes. There were no arrivals in 1835. 



The year 1836 was charged with events, important in their results, in moulding 
the destiny of this Coast. That year Arkansas was admitted as a state in the Union 
and Wisconsin was organized as a territory. The Creeks in Georgia, and the Seminoles 
under Osceola in Florida, were waging a fierce war against the whites; while on the 
border between the United States and Mexico, the Texans had hoisted the " Lone Star " 
flag, and forced a recognition of their independence as a republic. Contention seemed 
to impregnate the air in North America, and the Pacific Coast did not escape. A 
native Californian named Juan B. Alvarado, overturned the government of that ter- 
ritory. A dispute between him and the Governor, growing out of a point of military 
etiquette as to the posting of a guard, assumed proportions so serious that Alvarado 
was forced to flee from Monterey to avoid arrest. He sought the home of a Tennessee 
trapper in the Santa Cruz mountains, named Isaac Graham. He entered the log 
cabin of that mountaineer a fugitive, and he passed out of it a conspirator. A few 
days later, at the head of fifty foreigners, mostly Americans, led by that trapper, and 
one hundred native Californians under Jose Castro, he entered Monterey at night and 
compelled a greatly superior force to surrender. The Governor with his officers and 
soldiers was sent out of the country,' and the fourth revolution in California had been 
accomplished ; this time, the foreign element led by an American, being used as the 
motive j)ower, with success as a result. 

A few days after the termination of this revolt the California Territorial Deputa- 
tion met at Monterey, and passed six resolutions, of which the following are three: 

"First — Upper California is declared to be independent of Mexico, during the 
non-re-establishment of the federal system which was adopted in the year 1824. 

"Second — The said California shall be erected into a free and governing State, 
establishing a congress which shall dictate all the particular laws of the country, and 
elect the other supreme powers necessay, declaring the actual ' Most Excellent Dejmta- 
tion' constituent. 

"Third — The religion shall be the Roman Catholic Apostolic, without admitting the 
exercise of any other; but the Government will not molest any person for their particular 
religious opinion^ 

The California Catholic mission influence having reached its zenith in 1834, had 
started on its decline in 1836, the state having overshadowed the church power which 
still retained sufficient influence to secure the foregoing emphatic recognition from the 
insurgents. The priests, reading the hand-writing on the wall, commenced the spolia- 


tion of mission property, the remnant of which was sold at auction in 1845. Such 
were the contemporaneous events and political condition in the United States, and 
upon the Pacific coast outside of Oregon, and a no less important epoch was to dawn 
upon her history that same year. 


The efforts of Dr. Marcus Whitman in the States, after his return from the Rocky 
mountains in 1835, resulted in his obtaining the necessary funds and associates for the 
establishment of two missions in Oregon. While there, he had married in February, 
1835, Miss Narcissa Prentiss, of Cuba, Alleghany county, New York, who was born in 
Prattsburg, Stuben county, of that State, March 14, 1808. She was a lady of refined 
nature and rare accomplishments, a blonde with large features, form well developed 
round and full, and with her commanding aj:)pearance was a noble looking woman. 
She possessed a voice of winning sweetness, was affable to all with whom she came in 
contact, firm in purjwse and an enthusiast. Her sympathies had been enlisted in the 
cause, and yielding all her fair prospects of the future amid scenes in the country 
where she was born and friends all lived, she married the Doctor and devoted her life 
to banishment and isolation among savages, in a country so- far away that its name 
even conveyed to the mind a sense of loneliness and mystery. She and her sisters 
were members of the village choir. At the close of services, on the Sabbath just before 
starting on the journey that was to separate her from home and kindred forever, that 
choir started the sad words of a farewell hymn, but one and then another's trembling 
voice was drowned in sobs, when Mrs. Whitman alone, taking up the refrain with 
clear, unwavering notes, sang : 

" ' Yes, my native land, I love thee, 

All thy scenes, I love them well; 

Friends, connections, happy country, 

Now I bid you all farewell.' " 
When she had finished, the congregation were all weeping, while sobs and cries of 
lamentation could be heard in every part of the church. It was a sad farewell, but a 
sadder future lay beyond for that unfortunate lady, whose life, devoted to the benefit of 
others, was to be quenched in blood by the hand of those whom she sought to befriend. 
Away by the banks of the distant Walla Walla, her mangled j remains were to lie 
unburied, a human banquet for prowling wolves. 

Besides Mrs. Whitman, Rev. H. H. Spalding and wife and W. H. Gray, were to 
accompany the Doctor upon his missionary enterprise. Mrs. Spalding is described in 
Gray's history of Oregon, as a lady of: "Medium height, slender in form, with dark 
brown hair, blue eyes, rather dark complexion, of a serious turn of mind, and quick in 
understanding languages. * She could paint indifferently in water 

colors, and had been taught while young all the useful branches of domestic life; could 
spin, weave, and sew, etc.; could prepare an excellent meal at short notice; was gener- 
ally sociable, but not forward in conversation with, or in attentions to gentlemen. 
° * * With the native women, Mrs. Spalding always appeared easy 

and cheerful, and had their unbounded confidence and respect. She was remarkable for 
her firmness and decision of character in whatever she or her husband undertook." 


She was a brave true woman, possessed of a kind heart and generous nature, who con- 
sented to devote her life to teaching religion to the savages, because of her sincerity in 
the belief that made her one like those who wept at the crucifixion. 

Of the five, but one is now living. The remains of Mr. and Mrs. Whitman, 
gathered from the plains, rest in a common neglected grave at the scene of their mur- 
der. Mrs. Spalding, summoned to the reward of the faithful, rests under the sod at 
Calaj)Ooia in Oregon; and Mr. Spalding within a few hundred yards of the mission 
building erected by him on the banks of the Clearwater river in Idaho, lies buried 
amid the scenes of his life's labors. The one survivor of that party, W. H. Gray, is 
now an honored resident of Astoria in Oregon, and among all the labors of his life, 
there is none that will so thoroughly fasten his presence upon the generation among 
which he has been an active and influential element, as the history he has written of 
Oregon. It will never cease to be considered important as a reflector of its time, and 
a hundred years hence will be more thoroughly appreciated than at present. 

This missionary party brought with them three wagons, eight mules, twelve horses 
and sixteen cows. In those wagons were farming utensils, blacksmith and carpenter 
tools, seeds, clothing, etc., to enable them to become self-supporting. In crossing the 
plains they traveled under protection of the American Fur Company. Sir William 
Drummond an English nobleman, under the alias of Captain Stewart, with a com- 
panion and three servants, and Major Pilcher a celebrated mountaineer, were also of 
the party. On arriving at Fort Laramie the wagons were all abandoned except one, 
which was retained by Dr. Whitman for the ladies to ride in, and then the fur com- 
pany concluded to try the exj>eriment of taking one of their carts along. After 
reaching the trappers' rendezvous on Green river, the mission party were introduced 
by Captain Wyeth — who was on his way home to the States after having sold his forts 
and trapping interests to the Hudson's Bay Company — to Thomas McKay and A. R. 
McLeocl, with whom they were to continue their journey to the Columbia river. Con- 
cerning the first interviews with Mr. McLeod, Mr. Gray records in his history as follows : 
"This chief trader of the Hudson's Bay Company, in conversations had with him, informed 
the mission party that it was not the wish of the company to encourage any of these mountain 
hunters and trappers to go to the Columbia river to settle, or to have anything to do with them, 
assigning as a reason that they would cause trouble and difficulty with the Indians." 

Upon resuming the journey, the Doctor, contrary to a manifest hostility evinced 
to his doing so, insisted upon taking the one remaining wagon with him, but was 
obliged on reaching Fort Hall, to reduce it to a two-wheel truck, and the Hudson's 
Bay men insisted upon his leaving even that when they reached Fort Boise. Such 
was the result of the first effort to cross the continent with a wagon, which demon- 
strated that the Rocky mountains were not an impassable barrier to American immi- 
gration from the States with vehicles of this kind. This was the beginning. Seven 
years later, the same path-finder — whose name was not Fremont — led a little army of 
immigrants with their wagons by the same trail to the Pacific coast, doing it for the 
avowed purpose, which the act accomplished, of rescuing Oregon from British rule. 

The party arrived at Fort Walla Walla September 2, 1836, where they were 
received by Mr. P. C. Pambrun with demonstrations of heartfelt cordiality, that caused 
the travel-worn missionaries to feel as though they had reached a home in this land 



that was all strange to them. Here they met J. K. Townsend, the naturalist before 
mentioned, who told them, writes Mr. Gray, that : 

"Repeating almost verbatim Captain Wyeth's words: ' The company will be glad to have you 
in the country, and your influence to improve their servants, and their native wives and children. 
As to the Indians yon have come to teach, they do not want them to be any more enlightened. The 
company now have absolute control over them, and that is all they require. As to Mr. Pambrun, 
at this place, he is a kind, good-hearted gentleman and will do anything he can for you. He has 
already received his orders in anticipation of your arrival, and will obey them implicitly; should 
the company learn from him, or any other source, that you are here and do not comply with their 
regulations, and treatment of the Indians, they will cut off your supplies, and leave you to perish 
among the Indians you are here to benefit. The company have made arrangements, and expect you 
to visit Vancouver, their principal depot in the country, before you select your location.' " 

The missionaries, in a few days, went down the Columbia to Fort Vancouver, 
where they were met with cordiality by Dr. McLaughlin. The ladies remained at this 
point, while their husbands and Mr. Gray returned to the Walla Walla country, to 
select a point for the mission, and we append a description from the pen of that gen- 
tleman of what followed: 

" Passed the Touchet, but did not consider its appearance justified much delay to examine it 
closely, though the whole bottom was covered with a heavy coat of tall rye grass; went on into the 
forks of the Walla Walla, and Mill creek (as it is now called); pitched our tent at the place where 
Whitman's station was afterwards built; got our suppers; Whitman and Gray took a look around 
the place; went into the bends in the river; looked at the cottonwood trees, the little streams of 
water, and all about till dark; came back to camp; not much said. Mr. Pambrun explained the 
quality of the soil, and what would produce corn, what potatoes, and what (as he thought) wheat, 
though he had not tried it thoroughly; or, rather, he had tried it on a small scale and failed. A 
few Cayuses came about camp at night. Next morning up early; breakfast over, some fine fresh 
Cayuse horses were brought up, ready to mount. We proceeded through the valley in several direc- 
tions; rode all day and returned to camp at night, stopping occasionally, to pull up a weed, or a 
bush, to examine the quality of the soil. 

"At night, if an artist could have been present and taken a picture of the group and the 
expression of countenance, it certairly would have been interesting : Spalding, Whitman, Pambrun 
and Gray discussing the quality of the soil, the future prospects of a mission, and of the natives it 
was contemplated to gather around. No while settlement was then thought of. They unanimously 
concluded that there was a limited amount of land susceptible of cultivation, estimated at the 
place fur the station at about ten acres. Along all the streams and at the foot of the Blue moun- 
tains, there might be found little patches of from half an acre to six acres of land suitable to culti- 
vate for the use of the natives. This, to say the least,' was not an over estimate of the qualities of 
the soil that has proved, by twenty-five years' cultivation without manure, to be richer to-day than 
soils of a different character with all the manuring they have received. ***** 

"A stake was set to mark the place. Next day all returned to the fort, and soon the mission 
tents, horses, goods, and cattle were upon the ground and work commenced. The Indians, what 
few had not gone for buffalo, came to our camp and rendered all the assistance they were capable 
of in getting a house up and covered. 

" In a few days Spalding and Whitman started with the Nez Perces to look at their country, in 
view of a location among them, leaving Gray alone in charge of the building and goods, while they 
examined the country up the Clearwater river, and selected a location in a beautiful valley about 
two miles up the Lapwai creek, and about twelve miles from Lewiston. Whitman returned to 
assist in erecting buildings at his station. Spalding started for Vancouver, to bring up the ladies. 
About the middle of November, Mrs. Whitman's quarters were ready, and she came to occupy 
them. Spalding and Gray, with Mrs. Spalding, started for the Lapwai station; arrived about the 
first of December, 1836, and, with the assistance of the Indians, in about twenty days a house was 
up, and Mrs. Spalding occupied it." 



In July of this year, a reinforcement for the Methodist mission on the Willamette, 
consisting of Elijah White and wife, Alanson Beers and wife, AY. H. Wilson, the 
Misses Annie M. Pitman, Susan Downing, and Elvina Johnson, sailed from Boston, 
but they failed to reach their destination until May, 1837. During the year the mis- 
sionaries were severely afflicted with intermittent fever. Two of their Indian pupils 
had died, one of them ran away, and eighteen persons including Indian childreu were 
admitted to the mission family, making the total number twenty-five. 

Nothing of special note transpired west of the Cascades, except the organization 
in February, of the "Oregon Temperance Society" of eighteen members; the donation 
of $250 by the native Oahus, and of $130 by gentlemen at Vancouver to the Metho- 
dist mission, and the arrival from England of Rev. Mr. Beaver and lady as chaplain 
for the Hudson's Bay Company, who remained until October, 1838, when they went 
back in disgust to London. The American population in Oregon at the close of 1836, 
including the two ladies mentioned, did not exceed thirty persons, but the thirty were a 
nucleus around which was to rally an emigrant army. 1 



Up to 1837, all cattle that had reached Oregon, except those driven from the States 
by Dr. Whitman, belonged to the Hudson's Bay Company, and that power on the 
coast desired to continue this exclusive ownership. Avenues to wealth are paths to 
independence, and to permit such to become accessible to residents of a country, weak- 
ens monopoly, and renders a concentration of absolute power with a favored few 
impossible. The Hudson's Bay Company knew this, and, as they j)0ssessed such 
monopoly and power, wished its continuance, therefore were hostile to operations of a 
nature calculated to place settlers upon an independent footing. In a country where 
stock could be kept with so little expense, the possession of a few domestic animals 
would insure competence to a man in a limited number of years,- it was, therefore, 
adverse to the Hudson's Bay Company's interests for any one to become possessed of 
this class of property. They were, consequently, hostile to a movement set on foot, in 
the spring of 1837, by Ewing Young and Jason Lee, purposing the purchase of cattle 
in California, to be driven overland to the settlements of the Willamette in Oregon. 
The opposition was ineffectual, however, for a company was organized through the 
efforts of Jason Lee, seconded by Mr. Young, and assisted by William A. Slocum of 

1 W. H. Gray's Oregon history, page 157-191. 

72 . OREGON. 

the United States navy, who advanced money, and gave the parties sent to buy cattle 
a free passage to California on his vessel. Mr. Young, a noted mountaineer and a 
settler in the valley, was captain of the expedition, and P. L. Edwards of the mission 
was treasurer. It was but a small party made up mostly of men whose lives had been 
spent on the frontier. Among them was the famed Turner, one of the three survivors 
of Jedediah S. Smith's party, massacred in 1826, on the Colorado river. He was one 
of the most desperate characters ever on the frontier, and died in Yolo county, Cali- 
fornia, in 1847, from the effects of an accidental gun shot wound received in the 
knee. This cattle company had purchased a band of over 700 cattle at three dollars 
per head, and in passing the mountainous country between the Sacramento valley in 
California and the Willamette in Oregon, were several times attacked by Indians, but 
succeeded in getting 600 head through. Mr. Gray in his history, evidently having 
been misinformed, accuses the Hudson's Bay Company of inciting the Indians to attack 
the expedition, to prevent those cattle from reaching Oregon. A daughter of P. L. 
Edwards, the treasurer of the expedition, is now an assistant in the California State 
Library, and she showed the writer, some years ago, the journal kept by Mr. Edwards 
on that occasion, from which the following extract was taken : 

" September 14. -Moved camp about ten o'clock, and after traveling five miles crossed Chasta 
[evidently the Klamath] river; about five miles further enGamped; but little grass and water for our 
animals. About two miles before reaching camp five or six Indians came to us in a friendly man- 
ner, and one, accompanied by a boy about ten years old, followed us to camp. There had been 
frequent threats on the way that Indians would be killed as soon as we crossed Chasta river, and I 
had heard threats of killing this one while he was following us. It had generally passed as idle 
braggadocio, and I was hoping that present threats were of the same sort. I, nevertheless, intended 
telling Mr. Young. In the hurry, however, of unpacking I could not do it unobserved. We had 
just let loose our horses and sat down, when a gun was fired just behind me. Gray and the 
Indian were sitting within ten paces of each other when the former shot. The Indian sprang up to 
run when Bailey, also, shot at him. The Indian ran about twenty paces and fell dead down the 
hill. Some of the scoundrels now hallowed, ' Shoot the boy!' The little fellow, however, turned 
a point of rocks, plunged into the brush, as he was not pursued, and escaped. They afterwards 
alleged that it was only to prevent his spreading the news. At the sound of the gun Mr. Young 
asked vehemtly, ' What's that?' and began censuring the act. I sprang up calling it a mean, base, 
dastardly act, and that such men were not to be depended upon in danger. Bailey retorted, 'Are 
you to be depended upon in danger?' I replied, ' Yes.' ' We will see,' said he. I said, ' Yes.' 
Carmichael was one of the first to censure the murder, but he now joined others against me. ' We 
are not Missourians,' said he. ' We will avenge the death of Americans.' Mr. Young and myself 
soon saw that it was no use to wrangle. Some of the party were silent ; most were in favor of the 
act ; only one that I now recollect spoke against it. Turner, Gay, and Bailey were three of four 
survivors of a party of eight men who had been defeated at the next river. [The battle occurred 
on the Bogue river but two years before], and several of the survivors were much mangled. Turn- 
er's wife had also escaped. This they alleged as their justification. But the murder was committed 
four days before reaching the place of their defeat, and the Indian may have been another tribe. 
Nor could any consideration of private revenge, allowing its legality itself, authorize the endanger- 
ing the property of others. We must prepare ourselves for fighting our way through the hostile 
Indians. This fool act may, as Mr. Young said, 'cost us half our animals.' One act of bar- 
barity is not to be omitted. Camp and Pat stripped the Indian of his skin clothing and left him 
lying naked. The Indian had a bow and about ten or fifteen arrows ; only two arrows in the pouch 
had stone points. 

" September 15. — Moved before sunrise ; road bushy and difficult. Had much difficulty in as- 
cending the bushy hill. The cattle were driven to-day in three bands. The first ascended with 


- . 




its mmsw^ mJjM^ 

-,<■.,. - ;-sagU.,,>q Kline 





little trouble. The second, which I was assisting to drive, with more. Some of the third band 
were unable to get up and were shot by the drivers. The two first bands had halted until the 
arrival of the third. After allowing a half hour rest, Mr. Young gave orders to march. Some of 
the drivers, however, had become displeased because he had not stopped in the valley below, and 
now did not pay any attention to his orders. Here a most horrid quarrel ensued. Curses, guns 
and knives were bandied for fifteen minutes. Turner, Gay, Carmichael, and Bailey were the prin- 
cipal speakers against Mr. Young. Myself and Des Pau tried to quash the business ; others were 
silent and apparently indifferent." 

The next day they were attacked, and from that time forward until Rogue river 
was crossed were frequently assailed, several of the party being wounded in the skir- 
mishes that ensued. Evidently that Indian hostility is chargeable, not to the Hudson's 
Bay Company, but to the inhuman, wanton act of barbarism, by members of the expe- 
dition, in assassinating a friendly Indian in cold blood. 

With the advent of horned cattle in the Willamette, dates the commencement of 
pecuniary prosperity of such settlers as had located in Oregon. Prior to this the terri- 
tory contained, practically, no species of property or means of gaining wealth inde- 
pendent of the Hudson's Bay Company, and this acquisition gave hope with courage to 
struggle for a brighter future. This success in hostility to that interest, was a discovery 
by the settlers, both American and ex-employes, that they possessed the strength to 
rend the bars that held them captives under a species of peonage. With this one 
blow, directed by the missionaries and dealt by ex-American hunters, an independent 
maintenance in Oregon had been rendered possible for immigrants. 

In May, the reinforcements before mentioned arrived, and in September Rev. 
David Leslie and wife, with Rev. H. K. W. Perkins and Miss Margaret Smith, com- 
ing by sea., reached the Willamette, swelling the Methodist mission force to seventeen 
persons including Josiah Whitcomb in charge of farming operations. Intermittent 
fever continued to be a serious impediment to their successful eiforts with the Indians, 
many of whose children fell sick at the school, which prejudiced them against the 
institution. A Cayuse chief named We-lap-tu-lekt, came with his family to have them 
instructed in the ways of the white man's civilization and God, when his children be- 
came sick, and, though he fled from the place in dismay, after burying two of them, 
another died while he journeyed to the country where his tribe dwelt. Notwithstand- 
ing these misfortunes, the class attending day and Sabbath-school averaged over thirty 
pupils, before the close of 1837. 

In the mean time W. H. Gray had started from Fort Vancouver, in January, 
overland for the States, to procure reinforcements and supplies for the Congregational 
missions in the interior under charge of Dr. Whitman and Mr. Spalding. On the 
way his party was attacked by Siouxs, and in the engagement that followed, he was 
twice wounded and two horses were shot under him, when a French trader, who was with 
the attacking force, procured a parley. The hostiles took advantage of this, surprised 
the five Indians accompanying Mr. Gray and killed all of them. They demanded the 
surrender of himself with his two remaining companions, which was complied with, 
only upon condition that their arms were to be retained. The three being eventually 
released, reached the States, where Mr. Gray, with his characteristic persistence and 
energy, entered upon the task of procuring that which he had traversed a continent 
and risked his life to obtain. 


To the sixteen persons who came during the year, as workers in the missionary 
cause, which included the three daughters of Rev. Leslie, add the names of Dr. J. 
Bailey an Englishman, George Gay and John Turner, and it includes all those who 
settled here in 1837. To this number add the thirty who had preceded them in 1832 
and 1834, and it gives forty-nine as the population of Oregon at the close of that year, 
who were not of the Hudson's Bay Company. 


It having been determined to establish a Methodist mission at the Dalles, among 
the Wasco tribe on the Columbia river east of the Cascade range of mountains, Daniel 
Lee and H. K. W. Perkins set out from the Willamette in March for that purpose. 
April first, Jason Lee accompanied by P. L. Edwards, F. Y. Ewing and two Indian 
boys, left Fort Vancouver on a journey overland to the States, for the purpose of ob- 
taining that which would render it practical to enlarge missionary operations on this 
coast. The Protestant design for Christianizing the savages was to teach them how to 
live, how to exist, how to procure food and clothing with a certainty that would leave 
them no longer subject to feasting seasons followed by fasting or famine. They thought 
to make a farmer of the Indian, and thus destroy his roving habits by localizing him, 
believing that Christianizing would thus be rendered possible and permanent. This 
necessitated supporting such of them as were disposed to adopt this labor plan for 
improvement, until they could support themselves by the new way, and to do this, it 
was necessary to have additional force and additional funds, for which Rev. Jason Lee 
had returned to the States, leaving his wife at the mission in the Willamette. At the 
rendezvous of the American trappers, on the north bank of the Yellowstone river, 
Lee's party met W. H. Gray with his reinforcements, on their way out to Whitman's 
mission. The associates of Mr. Gray were Revs. E. Walker, dishing Eells, and A. B. 
Smith, each 'of the four gentlemen being accompanied by his wife. A young man 
named Cornelius Rogers, was also one of their number, making nine in all. 

Another important member of that overland expedition of 1838, was John A. 
Sutter, an ex-cajrtain of the Swiss Guard, the man whom every California pioneer 
remembers with mingled feelings of gratitude and regret. He was, at this time, on his 
way to California, to establish upon her frontiers, among savage tribes, a rallying point 
for the straggling Americans and Europeans who had found or might find their way 
into that Spanish country. He afterwards carried out his designs, by erecting a fort 
that rendered it possible for a handful of Americans to capture Sonoma, and inaugur- 
ate the " Bear Flag War," which resulted in preventing the English from seizing 
California. What would have been the result upon Oregon had England taken pos- 
session of California in 1846? This same man sent out, at his own expense, the party 
which discovered gold in that State, then founded Sacramento, her present capital ; 
and, finally when an old man, was robbed of his property and left to die in poverty. 
To this man, Captain John A. Sutter of California, and to Dr. Marcus Whitman of 
Oregon, who sleeps in a neglected grave near the banks of the Walla Walla, Ameri- 
cans are largely indebted for the fact that England did not gain possession of all now 
controlled by the United States on the Pacific coast. 


Gray's party, accompanied by Captain Sutter, continued their way from the 
rendezvous on the Yellowstone and reached Fort Hall, where the former received a 
letter from the Willamette mission, directed to and advising Jason Lee of his wife's 
death on the twenty-sixth of June. It had been forwarded by Dr. McLaughlin to Dr. 
Whitman, who had sent a courier to Fort Hall with it. Mr. Gray hired a man, named 
Richardson, at an expense of $150, to take the letter from the latter place to the States, 
if necessary, to place it in the hands of the homeward-bound missionary, which he did. 
At Fort Hall, Gray's party were induced to trade the fourteen cows they were bring- 
ing with them from the States, all of a superior breed, for a like number of cows to be 
delivered to them by the Hudson's Bay Company, after reaching their destination. 
They failed to fully appreciate the advantages of that trade until after arriving at 
Whitman's mission in September, where they found that only an expert vaquero could 
catch one of the wild heifers roaming with the herds belonging to the Hudson's Bay 

Among the incidents of importance to the missionaries, transpiring that year in 
Oregon, was the narrow escape from drowning of Mrs. White, whose life was saved 
through the heroic efforts of Rev. D. Leslie. They were below the Cascades on the 
way down the Columbia, having been on a visit to the Dalles mission, when the boat 
capsized and the infant child of Mrs. White was drowned. In September Rev. Daniel 
Lee crossed the Cascade mountains with cattle from the Willamette for the Dalles, thus 
placing that mission upon a basis of self-support. In December, Rev. Leslie's house, 
with all that it contained, was burned, the loss being a severe one in a country where 
supplies were so hard to obtain. The Willamette mission, also, met with a serious mis- 
fortune in the death of Cyrus Shephard, under whose teachings the school, " Had in- 
creased to nearly forty scholars, notwithstanding the fearful mortality that reigned 
among the children. About one-third of all that had been received up to this period 
had died, and most of the remainder were in a sickly condition." l Elijah White suc- 
ceeded to the duties of the place that death had made vacant. 

In regard to the immediate results flowing from the efforts of the Methodist mis- 
sionaries in Oregon that year, Gustavus Hines, in his Oregon history, records on pages 
35 and 36, that: 

"At the Dalles a great religious excitement prevailed among the Indians through the labors of 
D. Lee and H. K. W. Perkins. This excitement extended fifty or seventy-five miles along the Colum- 
bia river, chiefly among the Wasco and Ghenook Indians, of whom more than one thousand in the 
course of a few weeks apparently embraced the Christian religion. Such were the evidences of a 
genuine change in these Indians, that the missionaries, after witnessing their praying habits for a 
few weeks, baptized them, and received them formally into the church. They were then formed 
into classes, and stated preaching was established in the different villages where they resided ; and 
for the time being the hearts of the missionaries were encouraged, from beholding the apparently 
happy success with which their labors were crowned. 

" On the Willamette, also, under the labors of Kev. D. Leslie, a revival of religion took place 
among the white settlers, the Hawaiians, who were in the employment of the mission, and the In- 
dians connected with the mission school. A number of each class were converted and received into 
the church. 2 

In October of this year, the first Catholic priests reached Oregon. They came 

1. Hines' History of Oregon, page 35. 

2. Gray's History of Oregon, page 186. 


from Canada across the Rocky mountains, and down the Columbia to Fort Vancouver, 
where they arrived November 24. Their names where Revs. Francis N. Blanchet and 
Modest Demers, and they baptized fifty-three persons on their way down the river, in- 
cluding seventeen Indian children at the lakes, nineteen persons at Colville, fourteen 
at Fort Okinagan, and three at Walla Walla. 1 The advent of these Jesuit priests was 
the signal for a revival on this coast, of the old church feud that had existed in the 
Christian world since Martin Luther's time, between the Protestant and Catholic fol- 
lowers of Christ. No other result could be expected, for each believed the other was 
disseminating doctrines calculated to damn the souls of all who adopted them, and an 
Indian might as well go to hell under the teachings of his native wizard or medicine 
chief, as under instructions of a churchman who started him for hades on a road labeled 
heaven. The Protestants believed the Catholics were sending the Indian on this broad 
way with a false sign-board, and the Catholics held the same view of their Protestant 
enemies. What is true of one is equally so of the other, as far as feelings of hostility 
are concerned and a desire to counteract adverse doctrinal influences among the natives. 
The difference, if any existed, was in the means that either might employ to rid them- 
selves of the other, and the question of whether the massacre at the Whitman mission 
was a means resorted to by the Jesuits to rid themselves of Protestant influence, is one 
that now is, and probably will always remain, a disputed one with zealous believers for 
and against. In its proper place in this work, readers will find the principal incidents 
of that dark tragedy, from which they can judge for themselves as to the influences 
that caused it. In support of this assertion in regard to their mutual hostility, the fol- 
lowing quotations are made from three different authors, two of whom are Congrega- 
tionalists, and one a Catholic. Rev. Samuel Parker in his work entitled "Exploring 
Tour Beyond the Rocky Mountains," page 285, records of a burial scene in 1836, at the 
mouth of Alj)owa creek in what now is Garfield county, Washington Territory, that: 

"In this instance they had prepared a cross to set up at the grave, most probably having been told 
to do so by some Iroquois Indians, a few of whom I saw west of the mountains, not in the capacity 
of teachers, but as trappers in the employ of the fur companies. One grave in the same village 
had a cross standing over it, which, together with this, were the only relics of the kind I saw dur- 
ing my travels in the country. Bat as I viewed a cross of wood of no avail, to benefit either the dead 
or the living, and far more likely to operate as a salvo to a guilty conscience, or a stepping stone to 
idolatry, than to be understood in its spiritual sense to refer to a crucifixion of our sins, / took this, 
ivhich the Indians had prepared, and broke it in pieces. I then told them that we placed a stone at 
the head and foot of the grave, only to mark the place ; and without a murmur, they cheerfully 
acquiesced, and adopted our custom." 

On page 184, of Gray's history of Oregon, the following in regard to the Catholic 
priests, will be found : 

" To illustrate their ideas, and show the evil of heretical books and teachings, they had a rep- 
resentation of a large tree, with a cross on top, representing all religious sects as going up the tree 
and out upon the different branches, and falling from the end of the branch into a fire under the tree, 
with a priest by the side of the fire throwing the heretical books into it. This was an interesting 
picture, and caused much discussion and violent denunciations among the Indians. Mr. Spalding, 
to counteract the influences of the Roman Catholic tree among the Indians, had Mrs. Spalding 
paint a number of sheets of cap-paper, commencing with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, 
representing the shrubbery, and all kinds of fruit, and the serpent, and the angel (after the fall) as 

1 Historic Sketch of the Catholic Church in Oregon, published in 1878, pages 28, 32, 35. For contrary, see Gray's History 
of Oregon, page 180 


guarding the garden; giving the pictures of most of the prominent patriarchs; Noah and the ark, 
and the prophets, down to Christ and the twelve apostles; showing the crucifixion of Christ by the 
Roman soldiers, and on down to the time when they adopted the cross as a form to worship, and the 
priests as kneeling to images. Spalding's pictures were in such form, and contained so much Bible 
history and information, that his Indian preachers, to whom he gave them, could attract larger 
crowds of Indians, to listen to the instruction given by Spalding than those who had the Catholic 
tree. This exasperated, or stirred up, as the Indians expressed it, all their had feelings toward each 
other, and caused quarrels betiveen those that were friends before, — a repetition of sectarian quarrels in 
all ages, and among every people not understanding the true principles of a genuine Christianity." 

The following Catholic authority, exhibiting the feeling of hostility to the 
Protestants, is taken from the "Historical Sketches of the Catholic Church in Ore- 
gon," published in 1878, and written by Father F. N. Blanchet. After giving the 
condition of spiritual affairs on the Coast, at the time he and Father M. Demers first 
arrived, the author sums up as follows, on page 64 : 

" From the foregoing, it easy to understand what the [Catholic] missionaries had to do. They 
[the priests] were to warn their flock against the dangers of seduction, to destroy the false impres- 
sion already received [from Protestants], to enlighten and confirm the faith of the wavering and 
deceived consciences, to bring back to the pratice of religion and virtue all who had forsaken them 
for long years, or who, raised in infidelity, had never known nor practiced any of them. * * * 
In a word, they were to run after the sheep when they were in danger. Thence their passing so 
often from one post to another — for neither the white people nor the Indians claimed their assist- 
ance in vain. And it was enough for them [the priests] to hear that some false prophet [Protestant, 
missionary] had penetrated into a place, or intended visiting some locality to induce the [Cath- 
olic] missionaries to go there immediately, to defend the faith and prevent error from propagating 

On page 96, the following occurs: 
" The first [second] mission to Nesqualy was made by Father Demers, who celebrated the first 
mass in the fort on April 22, [1839], the day after he arrived. His visit at such a time was forced 
upon him by the establishment of a Methodist mission there for the Indians." 

This same author, on page 88, records that : 

" After having given orders to build a chapel, and said mass outside of the fort, he parted with 
them, blessing the Lord for the success of his mission among the whites and Indians, and reached 
Cowlitz on Monday, the 30th, [Wednesday, May 1st,] with the conviction that his mission at Nesqualy 
had left a very feeble chance for a Methodist mission there. Brother Wilson [a Protestant minister], 
whom minister Leslie had left orders with to build a house, on a certain piece of land, must have 
been greatly despondent at being witness to all he had seen." 

With one more quotation from this Catholic authority, page 105, we leave the 
subject with readers to judge for themselves, as to the degree of sectarian rivalry that 
was set in active operation, upon the advent of the Jesuit priests in Oregon. What 
could be expected as a result, when it was exercised upon natures like those possessed 
by savages ? 

"And, alas, such was, nevertheless, the horrible ai^d damnable doctrine which the Methodist 
ministers of Willamette preached formerly to the Canadians, saying : ' A child is saved and is a 
king in the kingdom of heaven without baptism; the adults are, also, saved if their hearts are good.' 
And strange to say, that minister who had failed with his co-ministers to convert his countrymen 
and the Canadians, did not leave the fort before giving, by aspersion, such a sham baptism to 
Indians, ignoring Grod, Holy Trinity, incarnation, redemption and any prayers; and who, in reach- 
ing the mission at The Dalles, did the same with ignorant and polygamist Indians, giving to them 
bread and wine." 

A printing press with type was presented, in 1839, by the missionaries in the 
Sandwich Islands, to the Presbyterian missionaries of Oregon, and it reached Lapwai 
1 1 


that year where E. O. Hall put it in operation to print books in the Nez Perce language. 
Messrs. Rogers and Spalding soon learned to set type, and they printed small 
books in the Nez Perce language that were used in their school. That old press and 
type are now stored in the State Capitol of Oregon, and the building used for that 
primitive printing office, is yet standing, though somewhat modernized, near the 
Lapwai mission in Idaho. This was the first printing office on the Pacific coast of 
America, north of Mexico. l 

At the close of 1838, the total number of Oregon missionaries were two Roman 
Jesuits, thirteen Presbyterians, and fourteen Methodists ; the number of missions being- 
two established by the latter denomination and three by the Congregationalists. One of 
the Congregational missions was founded in September of this year by Revs. Cushing 
Eells and E. Walker, near Spokane, where forty-one years later (in September, 1879), 
the first named gentleman organized a Congregational church. To the members of 
Gray's party, add the names of James Connor and Richard Williams, who came from 
the Rocky mountains with them, and there is an increase of twelve persons, including 
the two priests, to the population of Oregon in 1838, who were not members or ex- 
employes of the Hudson's Bay Company. This gives sixty-one as the total of this 
class of citizens, at the close that year. 


Much of the good that otherwise could have been accomplished by the missionaries 
in 1830, was nullified through the efforts that the Catholics and Protestants each put 
forth, to convince the Indians that an evil and dangerous doctrine was being taught 
them by the other. The Catholics, however, were most successful in gaining the native 
confidence, their forms and dress being better calculated to create a strong impression 
upon that race. 

In the fall of that year a small addition was made to the pojDulation of Oregon 
through the arrival in the country of Rev. J. S. Griffin and a Mr. Munger, with their 
wives, who had purposed establishing a mission among the Snake Indians, but failed 
to do so. With Mr. Griffin were Ben Wright, Lawson, Keiser and Geiger. With this 
party, J. T. Farnham, author of " Travels in the Great Western Prairies " and " Early 
Days in California," came to Oregon, and he was accompanied by Sidney Smith, a 
blacksmith named Blair, and Robert Shortess. Mr. Farnham's early departure for 
the Sandwich Islands left but eleven as the increase of population in 1839, making 
seventy-two in all in the territory. W. H. Gray in his history, page 187, gives the 
number as, 

Protestant missionaries 10 

Roman Priests 2 

Physicians 2 

Laymen 6 

Women 13 

Children 10 

Settlers 20 

Settlers under Hudson's Bay Company control with American tendencies 10 

Total 83 

1 Oray's history of Oregon, page 184. (ireenhow's history of Oregon, page 3bl. 



In the latter part of 1839, the missionary A. B. Smith, who had crossed the plains 
with W. H. Gray the previous year, located among the Nez Perces, at the place where 
the band of Ellis made their headquarters. This was done with the purpose of teach- 
ing the followers of chief Ellis in accordance with the Protestant plan of improving 
the Indians. In the spring of 1840, Mr. Smith attempted to cultivate ground for the 
purpose of raising products on which to subsist, when this chief threatened to take his 
life unless he would desist, and abandoning the attempt at agriculture, Mr. Smith also 
abandoned the missionary cause, and sailed for the Sandwich Islands. " The Nez 
Perces seemed to be tired with these self-dubbed ministers a femmes, and show a great 
predilection in favor of Catholic priests," says Father DeSmet in a letter dated August 
10, 1840, addressed to Father F. N. Blanchet. 

This zealous Jesuit, DeSmet, had in July of that year, for the first time, reached 
the Rocky mountains and the Flathead tribe in what is now Montana. He was with 
that tribe at the time when so freely expressing his views of the Protestants, who like 
him were striving only to benefit the Indian ; and, his impression of what the Nez 
Perces wished must have come from the source that prevented Rev. Smith from culti- 
vating the soil, for a large proportion of the latter tribe favored the Protestant form 
of religion. During that year the Catholic priests traveled extensively among the 
tribes, while the Protestants confined themselves mainly to those in the immediate 
vicinity of their missions. 

Father P. J. DeSmet returned to the States, for the purpose of bringing out 
necessary supplies and associates to found missions in the Rocky mountains. The 
Methodists of the Willamette were reinforced in June, by the arrival of Jason Lee's 
party, including eight clergymen, one physician, five laymen, nineteen ladies of whom 
five were unmarried, and fifteen children, making a total of forty-eight. The total 
rrivals in Oregon of settlers in 1840, are named by W. H. Gray as follows : 

"In 1840, Mrs. Lee, second wife of Rev. Jason Lee; Rev. J. H. Frost and wife; Rev. 
A. F. Waller, wife and two children ; Rev. W. W. Kone and, wife; Rev. G. Hines, wife 
and sister ; Rev. L. H. Judson, wife and two children ; Rev. J. L. Parish, wife and 
three children ; Rev. G. P. Richards, wife and three children ; Rev. A. P. Olley and 
wife. Laymen — Mr. George Abernethy, wife and two children ; Mr. H. Campbell, 
wife and one child ; Mr. W. W. Raymond and wife ; Mr. H. B. Brewer and wife ; Dr. 
J. L. Babcock, wife and one child; Rev. Mrs. Daniel Lee; Mrs. David Carter; Mrs. 
Joseph Holman ; Miss E. Phillips. Methodist Episcopal Protestant mission — Rev. 
Harvey Clark and wife ; P. B. Littlejohn and wife. Independent Protestant mission — 
Robert Moore, James Cook and James Fletcher, settlers. Jesuit priests — P. J. DeSmet, 
Flathead mission. 

"Rocky mountain men with native wives: William Craig, Robert or Dr. Newell, 
J. L. Meek, Geo. Ebbetts, William M. Dougherty, John Larison, George Wilkinson, 
a Mr. Nicholson, and Mr. Algear and William Johnson, author of the novel, 'Leni 
Leoti; or, the Prairie Flower.' The subject was first written and read before the 
Lyceum at Oregon City, in 1843." 


He sums up the population of Oregon in the fall of 1840 as, 

American settlers, twenty five of them with Indian wives 36 

American women 33 

Children 32 

Lay members, Protestant missions «-. 13 

Methodist ministers 13 

Congregational 6 

American physicians 3 

English physicians 1 

•Jesuit priests, including DeSmet , . . 3 

Canadian French 60 

Total Americans . 137 

Total Canadians, including priests 63 

Total population, not including Hudson's Bay operatives, within what now is a 
portion of Montana, all of Idaho and Washington Territories and Oregon . . 200 



The first attempt at any form of government in Oregon, other than that exercised 
by the Hudson's Bay Company, was made in 1839. It was without authority of law, 
and its exercise was acquiesced in as being under the form they had been accustomed 
to in the States, and it was better than nothing. How it came to exist, or the formula 
that brought it into being, does not appear; but Hines, on page 417 of his Oregon his- 
tory, writing of the year 1840, states that : " For two years, persons had been chosen to 
officiate as judges and magistrates." Gray records that these magistrates were chosen 
by the Methodist mission in opposition to the wishes of the settlers, but were submitted 
to by them because of their unorganized condition. He mentions the trial of T. J. 
Hubbard for killing a party who was attempting to get in at the window of his house, 
who was arraigned before Rev. David Leslie as Judge, had a jury trial and was acquit- 
ted on the grounds that it was a justifiable homicide. 

In 1840, soon after this homicide, a petition, headed by David Leslie and signed 
by other citizens of Oregon, was forwarded to Congress, asking that body to establish 
for them a territorial form of government. It will be remembered that the population, 
including children, numbered two hundred at this time; and the only effect of this 
petition was to stir up hostility with the Hudson's Bay Company against the American 
population and direct public attention in the States towards the country west of the 
Rocky mountains concerning which they knew so little. 


A.6.*V/ll/wG Ltru PORTLAND 0, 




Although so few white people resided west of those mountains, at that time, still 
the objects which brought them there had resulted in their division into four classes, 
with interests to a greater or less extent, adverse to each other. The Hudson's Bay 
Company, the Catholic church, the Methodist missions, and the independent settlers, 
constituted the four interests, and they were elements not easy to harmonize. The two 
former seemed to have but the one opinion, yet there were members of the Catholic 
church who were favorable to American rule. The Methodist mission had served as a 
rallying point for settlers, who cared nothing for the religious creed it represented, 
their object in seeking homes in the Willamette having been to better, not their spir- 
itual, but worldly condition. Such favored the mission influence to the extent 
only that it served their purpose of settling in the country. These separate interests 
were bound to struggle for mastery, silently when weak, violently when strong. 

In February of this year Ewing Young died, leaving considerable property and 
no heirs. This naturally raised the question of what was to be done with his estate 
and who was to take charge of it. He was neither a Catholic, a Protestant, nor a 
Hudson's Bay Company employe; he had only been an American citizen, was dead in 
Oregon, and what was to be done? Had he been one of the British company em- 
ployes they would have attended to the property; or, if he had belonged to the Cath- 
olic family the priests would have taken charge ; if a Methodist even the mission could 
have administered ; but, as he was an outsider, and as no one had the color of a right 
to officiate, it became a matter in which all were interested and cause for public action. 
His funeral occurred on the seventeenth, and after the burial an impromptu meeting- 
was held, at which it was determined to organize a civil government over Oregon, not 
including the portion lying north of the Columbia river. A Committee was to consti- 
tute the legislative branch of the government; a governor, a supreme judge with pro- 
bate powers, three justices of the peace, three constables, three road commissioners, an 
attorney-general, a clerk of the courts and public recorder, one treasurer and two over- 
seers of the poor were to constitute its official machinery. Gentlemen were put in 
nomination for all of these offices and the meeting adjourned until the next day, at 
which time, citizens of the valley were notified to be present at the American mission 
house to elect officers, and to perfect the governmental organization. 

At the time and place specified, nearly all the male population south of the Colum- 
bia congregated, the several factions in full force. Most prominent amongst these was 
the Methodist mission ; second, the Catholics as allies of the Hudson's Bay Company ; 
and third, the independent settlers whose interests were not specially identified with 
either of the former. The proceedings of the previous day were not fully indorsed. 
Two were added to the Legislative Committee, and the following gentlemen were chosen 
to serve in that capacity : Revs. F. N. Blanchet, Jason Lee, Gustavus Hines, Josiah L. 
Parish, and Messrs. D. Donpierre, M. Charlevo, Robert Moore, E. Lucia, and William 
Johnson. The main point at issue seemed to be, as to which faction should secure the gover- 
norship. Revs. Leslie and Hines, and Dr. J. L. Babcock were the Methodist mission can- 


didates and were liable to divide the vote sufficiently to secure the selection of Dr. 
Bailey, a man of strong English prejudices, who was opposed to religion generally, but 
could secure the French Catholics, and a majority of the settlers' votes. He drove the 
latter portion of his support into the opposition ranks, however, by his want of modesty 
in nominating himself for that position. It was finally determined to have no gover- 
nor, and Dr. J. L. Babcock having been chosen supreme judge, was instructed to ren- 
der decisions in matters coming before him in accordance with the New York code. 
This was an order easy to give, but difficult to fulfill, as there was not a New York 
statute book in Oregon at the time. 

The Methodists, having secured the bench, and prevented the adverse interests 
from securing the executive branch of the embryo government, the Catholic influence 
was given a representation in Geo. LeBreton, who was made clerk of the court and 
recorder. Wm. Johnson was chosen from the English element for the office of high 
sheriff, and the following named gentlemen were elected constables : Havier Lader- 
ant, Pierra Billique, and Wm. McCarty. The offices of justice of the peace, road 
commissioner, attorney general, treasurer and overseer of the poor, were not filled. 
After the transaction of this business, and the issuance of an order for the Legislative 
Committee to draft a constitution and code of laws, the meeting adjourned until the 
following June. 

On the first of June, the people assembled at the new building near the Catholic 
church in the Willamette, and learned that the Committee had failed to either form 
laws, or even meet for that purpose. Rev. F. N. Blanchet withdrew as a member of 
it, and Dr. Bailey was chosen to fill the vacancy. The Committee was then ordered 
to, " Confer with the Commodore [Wilkes] of the American squadron and John 
McLaughlin, chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, with regard to forming a 
constitution and code of laws for this community." A day was named for that Com- 
mittee to meet, and a day on which it was to report, and the meeting then adjourned 
until the following October. This ended the first effort to organize a form of govern- 
ment, and the proposed October meeting did not occur. The Committee determined 
to adopt the advice of Commodore Wilkes, regarding which he records in his reports 
as follows : 

1 "These people were quite alive on the subject of laws, courts, and magistrates, including 
governors, judges, &c. I was here informed that a committee had been appointed to wait upon me 
on my arrival at the mission, to hold a consultation relative to the establishment of settled govern- 
ments. Johnson, trapper-like, took what I thought the soundest view, saying that they yet lived 
in the brush, and let all do right; there was no necessity for laws, lawyers, or magistrates." 

This man Johnson was an ex-Hudson's Bay trapper. The Commodore then 
visited the Catholic mission and Rev. F. N. Blanchet who had withdrawn from the 
Committee, of whom he writes that : 

" He spoke to me much about the system of laws the minority of the settlers were desirous of 
establishing, but which he had objected to, and advised his people to refuse to co-operate in; for 
he was of opinion that the number of settlers in the Willamette valley would not warrant the estab- 
lishment of a constitution, and as far as his people were concerned there was certainly no necessity 
for one, nor had he any knowledge of crime having been yet committed." 

The Commodore, after visiting the Catholic mission in the Willamette, reached 

1 Wilkes' Exploring Expedition, Vol. 4, pp. 348, 349, 350, 351, 352, and 353. 


that of the Methodists, and gives the following expression in regard to it, and the 
advisability of organization : 

" About all the premises of this mission there was an evident want of the attention required to 
keep things in repair, and an absence of neatness that I regretted much to witness. We had the 
expectation of getting a sight of the Indians on whom they were inculcating good habits and teach- 
ing the word of God; but with the exception of four Indian servants, we saw none since leaving the 
Catholic mission. On inquiring, I was informed that they had a school of twenty pupils, some ten 
miles distant, at the mill; that there were but few adult Indians in the neighborhood; and that their 
intention and principal hope was to establish a colony, and by their example to induce the white set 
tiers to locate near those over whom they trusted to exercise a moral and religious influence. 

" A committe of five, principally lay members of the mission, waited upon me to consult and 
ask my advice relative to the establishment of laws, &c. After hearing attentively all their argu- 
ments and reasons for this change, I could see none sufficiently strong to induce the step. No 
crime appears yet to have been committed, and the persons and property of settlers are secure. 
Their principal reasons appear to me to be, that it would give them more importance in the eyes of 
others at a distance, and induce settlers to flock in, thereby raising the value of their farms and stock. 
I could not view this subject in such a light, and differed with them entirely as to the necessity or 
policy of adopting the change. 

"First — On account of their want of right, as those wishing for laws were, in fact, a small 
minority of the settlers. 

" Second — That these were not yet necessary even by their own account. 

" Third — That any laws they might establish would be a poor substitute for the moral code 
they all now followed, and that evil-doers would not be disposed to settle near a community entirely 
opposed to their practices. 

" Fourth — The great difficulty they would have in enforcing any laws, and defining the limits 
over which they had control, and the discord this might occassion in their small community. 

" Fifth — They not being the majority, and the larger portion of the population Catholics, the 
latter would elect officers of their party, and they would thus place themselves entirely under the 
control of others. 

" Sixth — The unfavorable impressions it would produce at home, from the belief that the mis- 
sions had admitted that in a community brought together by themselves they had not enough of 
moral force to control it and prevent crime, and therefore must have recourse to a criminal code. 

" From my own observation and the information I had obtained, I was well satisfied that laws 
were not needed, and were not .desired by the Catholic portion of the settlers. I therefore could not 
avoid drawing their attention to the fact, that after all the various officers they proposed mak- 
ing were appointed, there would be no subjects for the law to deal with. I further advised them to 
wait until the government of the United States should throw its mantle over them. These views, 
I was afterwards told, determined a postponement of their intentions." 

The foregoing leaves no doubt of the hostility of all the residents of Oregon to a 
governmental organization, except the Methodist mission influence and American set- 
tlers who were not Catholics. Although the effort had failed to give the people a gov- 
ernment, it procured a just and satisfactory settlement of the Young estate, under 
direction of the judge elected. 

During the year the priests went among the Cascade Indians, who had adopted 
the Methodist faith, and induced most of them to renounce it in favor of Catholicism. 
This brought the Jesuit fathers in collision with the Methodist missionaries at the 
Dalles, where Rev. Waller resided, concerning whom the Catholic church history states 
that : " Rev. Waller, hearing that the Indians [at Cascades] were willing to build a 
[Catholic] chapel, came and made a noise; all had left him save a few." Father P. J. 
DeSmet had returned from the States to the Rocky mountains with two associates, in 
the spring, and founded St. Mary's mission among the Flatheads. The result of efforts 

84 • OREGON. 

by the two Oregon priests, between March, 1840, and March, 1841, had been 510 
baptized, of which there were 40 adults, 100 whites, and 410 Indians. 

The Methodists had retrograded, their field of operations having been diminished 
and encroached upon. As the Catholic historian justly wrote, regarding the advantage 
of the ceremony of that creed over the Protestant: "The sight of the altar, vestments, 
sacred vessels and great ceremonies, were drawing their [the Indians] attention a great 
deal more than the cold, unavailable, and long lay services of Brother Waller." Be- 
cause of these facts, and the adverse feeling spreading among the natives, because of 
the fatal disease that was sweeping the mission pupils into the grave, the missionaries' 
attention had been gradually turned to a more congenial field of operation — that of 
colonizing the country and drawing around them an intelligent white race to receive 
the benefits of Methodist teachings and temporal prosperity, in a land smiling with 
nature's bounteous gifts. The interior missions under Dr. Whitman, Revs. Spalding 
and Gushing Eells, were more successful in instructing the natives in that which was 
calculated to civilize them. 

It was in 1841, that the eight young men, mentioned by Commodore Wilkes as be- 
ing desirous of leaving the country because there were no marriageable women in it, 
built the little ocean craft, called the Oregon Star, in which they proposed sailing for 
California. Their ship yard was on Oak Island in the Willamette river, about four 
miles above what now is Portland, and the names of some of them are given by Mr. 
Gray as being R. L. Kilborn, Charles Matts, P. Armstong, H. Woods, John Green and 
George Davis. These parties employed Felix Hathaway as head ship carpenter, and 
Captain Joseph Gale, after launching to sail her down the coast to California. This 
was the first vessel built by Americans on the Pacific coast. 


Priests at beginning of year 2 

Priests arrived 3 

Protestant ministers 21 

Lay members 15 

White women .34 

White children 32 

Amei'ican settlers 35 

Arrivals during the year Ill 

Total at the close of 1841 253 

Those reaching Oregon that year were accompanied, part of the way, by the first 
emigrants to California across the plains, among whom were the founder of Stockton, 
and several who achieved distinction in the annals of that State. 


In 1840, the American population had petitioned Congress to establish a territorial 
form of government over Oregon. In 1841, Governor Sir George Simpson started 
from England on his journey, by sea and land, around the world, traversing the North 
American continent in his route. On his way to the Pacific coast he passed the Hud- 
son's Bay Company's Red river emigrants, east of the Rocky mountains. They were 


also on their way to Oregon, designing to settle north of the Columbia river; but 
traveling slowly, failed to reach their destination until late the following year. Of that 
emigrant party, Sir George noted, in volume 1, page 89, of his memoirs of that expe- 
dition, the following: 

" These emigrants consisted of agriculturists and others, principally natives of Red river 
settlement. There were twenty-three families, the heads being generally young and active, though 
a few of them were advanced in life, more particularly one poor woman, upwards of seventy-five 
years of age, who was tottering after her son to his new home. This venerable wanderer was a 
native of the Saskatchewan, the name of which, in fact, she bore. She had been absent from this 
the land of her birth for eighteen years; and, on catching the first glimpse of the river, from the 
hill near Carlton, she burst, under the influence of old recollections, into a violent flood of tears. 
During the two days that the party spent at the fort, she scarcely ever left the bank of the stream, 
appearing to regard it with as much veneration as the Hindoo regards the Ganges. " J 

These Red river settlers, over whom the Hudson's Bay Company had unques- 
tioned control, were being sent to Oregon as a counter-influence to American emigra- 
tion. The cattle expedition to California in 1837, followed by the petition of 1840, 
were danger signals not to be ignored, if English supremacy was to be maintained in 
the country through Hudson's Bay Company influence. As Americans had through 
the missionaries, gained a foot-hold, from which they could not well be dislodged with- 
out resorting to means calculated to precipitate a war between Great Britain and the 
United States, an effort was put forth to neutralize the effect of their presence in the 
country, by encouraging the immigration of those who could be relied upon as hostile 
to American institutiona and rule. 

In this connection, a circumstance related in the Catholic church history of 
Oregon, is worthy of note, as indicating sympathies and the tendency at that time. 
The author, in mentioning the presence of Sir George Simpson in Oregon in 1841, 
states that he : " Assisted at high mass and vespers on Sunday, and seemed to have 
been pleased with what he had seen there and at Vancouver. He became convinced 
at last of the necessity of granting passage for new priests, and other assistants " to 
Oregon. 1 This is significant in view of the fact that it had just been demonstrated 
that the Americans and Protestants were desirous of organization, and had petitioned 
Congress for a territorial form of government, and that the Catholics in harmony with 
his company's interests, were adverse to all this. 

Dr. Elijah White, coming overland with the emigration of 1842, arrived in 
September with powers to act as sub-Indian Agent, and claimed to have executive 
authority in all matters involving the interests of American settlers as such ; in fact, 
to be : " The governing power of the United States, west of the Rocky mountains." 
The citizens, at a meeting upon his arrival, passed several resolutions of thanks to 
Congress, and of compliment to Dr. White, and adjourned, happy at the evidence of 
governmental interest in the country. 


The following, quoted from page 288 of Gray's Oregon history, is given as the 
accepted account of the incident and cause, of Dr. Whitman's returning to the States, 
in 1842 : 

1 " Narrative of a Journey Bound the World," Vol. 1, page 89, by Sir Geo. Simpson. 

2 Historic Sketches of the Catholic Church in Oregon, page 125. 



" In September, 1842, Dr. Whitman was called to visit a patient at old Fort Walla Walla. 
While there, a number of boats of the Hudson's Bay Company, with several chief traders and Jesuit 
priests, on their way to the interior of the country, arrived. While at dinner, the overland express 
from Canada arrived, bringing news that the emigration from the Red river settlement was at Col- 
ville. This news excited unusual joy among the guests. One of them — a young priest — sang out: 
'Hurrah for Oregon, America is too late; we have got the country.' ' Now the Americans may 
whistle; the country is ours!' said another. 

"Whitman learned that the company had arranged for these Red river English settlers to 
come on to settle in Oregon, and at the same time Governor Simpson was to go to Washington and 
secure the settlement of the question as to the boundaries, on the ground of the most numerous 
and permanent settlement in the country. 

" The Doctor was taunted with the idea that no power could prevent this result, as no informa- 
tion could reach Washington in time to prevent it. 'It shall be prevented, said the Doctor, 'if I have 
to go to Washington myself.' ' But you cannot go there to do it,' was the taunting reply of the Briton. 
'I will see,' was the Doctor's reply. The reader is sufficiently acquainted with the history of this 
man's toil and labor in bringing his first wagon through to Fort Boise, to understand what he meant 
when he said, 'I will see.' Two hours after this conversation at the fort, he dismounted from his 
horse at his door at Wailatpu. I saw in a moment that he was fixed on some important object or 
errand. He soon explained that a special effort must be made to save the country from becoming 
British territory. . 

" Everything was in the best of order about the station, and there seemed to be no important 
reason why he should not go. A. L. Lovejoy, Esq., had a few days before arrived with the immi- 
gration. It was proposed that he should accompany the Doctor, which he consented to do, and in 
twenty-four hours' time they were well mounted and on their way to the States. They reached Fort 
Hall all safe; kept south into Taos, and thence to Bent's Fort, on the Arkansas river, when Mr. 
Lovejoy became exhausted from toil and exposure, and stopped for the winter, while the Doctor 
continued on and reached Washington. 

" Thus far in this narrative I give Dr. Whitman, Mr. Lovejoy's, and my own knowledge." 
A perusal of Sir George Simpson's narration of his journey round the world, 
shows that he reached London from Russia, at the end of that journey, October 29, 
1842, and that he had not been in the United States since 1841. By referring to the 
history of the Catholic church in Oregon and Father P. J. DeSmet's works, it appears 
that the Jesuit priests, M. Demers and P. J. DeSmet, left Walla Walla in June 1842, 
the former for New Caledonia, and the latter for the East to procure more assistance 
for operations on this coast. This left but three Catholic clergymen in Oregon, two in 
what now is Montana, and one in the Willamette valley. The operations and move- 
ments of these three are given for the remainder of the year, and the account shows 
that none of them were at Walla Walla in 1842. September 17, two fathers arrived 
at Vancouver by sea, but it seems their time was occupied for the balance of the year, 
west of the Cascades; and these were all the priests in Oregon at the time in question, 
of whom we can get any trace. Unless there is a suppression of fact by the Catholic 
historian, Mr. Gray has erred in regard to the presence of priests in Walla Walla, at 
the interview in September 1842. After all it matters but little whether it was a 
priest, or only a Briton, whose rejoicing spurred the Doctor on to action. It also seems 
that the Ashburton treaty had already been signed in August, and Governor Simpson 
had been for a year where he could exert no personal influence in the matter, still these 
were facts that could not have been known in Oregon at that time; and Gray's state- 
ment of the circumstances with their attendant influences remain as he has given them, 
unimpaired in any material point. As he has recorded it, so it was understood in that 
place at that time. 



The action of chief Ellis in driving Rev. A. B. Smith from among his people, by 
refusing to let him cultivate the soil, has been mentioned. Not long after that, Dr. 
Whitman was attacked by several Cay use chiefs in his own house, and would probably 
have been murdered but for the opportune arrival of some white men. 

The Doctor had left Mrs. Whitman at the mission, when he started for the States, 
not considering that her residence there during his absence exposed her to personal 
danger from Indians, because of the presence of several white men, and the proximity 
of Fort Walla Walla where McKinlay was in charge. Soon after his departure, how- 
ever, a chief designing violence and ruin, attempted to enter her bed-room at night, 
and but for the prompt action of a white man sleeping in an adjoining room, would 
have succeeded in his design. A few days later the mission mill, with the grain stored 
therein, was burned by Indians. About the same time Mrs. Spalding, among the 
Nez Perces, was, in the absence of her husband, ordered out of her own house and grossly 
insulted ; and, at another time Mr. Spalding's life was threatened by an Indian who 
had stolen his horse. A spirit of hostility towards the missionaries east of the Cas- 
cades, was gradually germinating, which, if permitted to develop, was liable to result 
in their all being massacred or driven out of the country ; and the newly appointed 
Sub-Indian Agent, Elijah White, determined upon making an effort to check it. He 
accordingly, in November, accompanied by Thomas McKay and six men, left the 
Willamette for the interior. Reaching Fort Walla Walla, they were joined by its 
commandant, Archibald McKinlay, who determined to make common cause with the 
Americans in restoring quietude among the Indians. In the meantime Mrs. Whitman 
had removed to the Dalles, and the party made but a temporary halt at the Doctor's 
mission, where they treated the Indians with reserve, but appointed a meeting with the 
chiefs on their return. Pushing on towards Clearwater river, where Mr. Spalding 
resided among the Nez Perces, a courier was sent in advance summoning an assem- 
blage of that tribe for consultation with the agent. Concerning what followed, Mr. 
White wrote to the Indian Agent at Washington, that : 

" The chiefs met us with civility, gravity, and dignified reserve, but the missionaries with joyful 
countenances and glad hearts. Seldom was a visit of an Indian Agent more desired, nor could one 
be more necessary and proper. As they were collecting, we had no meeting for eight and forty 
hours; in the meantime, through my able interpreter and McKay, I managed to secure confidence 
and prepare the way to a good understanding; visited and prescribed for their sick, made a short 
call at each of the chiefs' lodges, spent a season in school, hearing them read, spell and sing; at the 
same time examined their printing and writing, and can hardly avoid here saying I was happily sur- 
prised and greatly interested at seeing such numbers so far advanced and so eagerly pursuing after 
knowledge. The next day I visited their little plantations, rude, to be sure, but successfully car- 
ried on, so far as raising the necessaries of life were concerned; and it was most gratifying to wit- 
ness their fondness and care for their little herds, pigs, poultry, etc. 

" The hour arriving for the public interview, I was ushered into the presence of the assembled 
chiefs to the number of twenty-two, with some lesser dignitaries, and a large number of the com- 
mon people. The gravity, fixed attention, and decorum of these sons of the forest was calculated 
to make for them a most favorable impression. I stated explicitly, but briefly as possible, the de- 
signs of our great chief in sending me to this country, and the present object of my visit: assured 
them of the kind intentions of our government, and of the sad consequences that would ensue to 
any white man, from this time, who should invade their rights, by stealing, murder, selling them 


damaged for good articles, or alcohol, of which they are not fond. Without threatening, I gave 
them to understand how highly Mr. and Mrs. Spalding were prized by the numerous whites, and 
with what pleasure the great chief gave them a paper to encourage them to come here to teach 
them what they were now so diligently employed in obtaining, in order that they and their children 
may become good, wise and happy. 

"After me, Mr. McKinlay, the gentleman in charge of the Hudson's Bay establishment at 
Walla Walla, spoke concisely, but very properly; alluded to his residence of some years, and of 
the good understanding that had generally existed between them, and of the happiness he felt that 
one of his brothers had come to stand and judge impartially between him, them, and whites and 
Indians in general; declared openly and frankly, that Boston, King George, and French, were all 
of one heart in this matter, as they, the Cayuses and Walla Wallas should be; nattered them deli- 
cately in view of their (to him) unexpected advancement in the arts and sciences, and resumed his 
seat, having made a most favorable impression. 

" Next followed Mr. Eodgers, the interpreter, who, years before, had been employed success- 
fully as linguist in this section of the country by the American Board of Commissioners, and was 
ever a general favorite with this people. He adverted, sensibly and touchingly, to past difficulties 
between whites and Indians east of the mountains, and the sad consequences to every tribe who 
had resisted honorable measures proposed by the more numerous whites; and having, as he hoped, 
secured their confidence in my favor, exhorted them feelingly to adopt such measures as should be 
thought proper for their benefit. 

"Next, and lastly, arose Mr. McKay, and remarked, with a manner peculiar to himself, and 
evidently with some emotion : ' I appear among you as one arisen from the long sleep of death. 
You know of the violent death of my father on board the ship Tonquin, who was one of the partners 
of the Astor company; I was but a youth; since which time, till the last five years, I have been a 
wanderer through these wilds, none of you, or any Indians of this country, having traveled so con- 
stantly or extensively as I have, and yet I saw you or your fathers once or more annually. I have 
mingled with you in bloody wars and profound peace; I have stood in your midst, surrounded by 
plenty, and suffered with you in seasons of scarcity; we have had our days of wild and joyous 
sports, and nights of watching and deep concern, till I vanished from among men, left the Hudson's 
Bay Company, silently retired to my plantation," and there confined myself. There I was still, silent, 
and as one dead; the voice of my brother, at last, aroused me; I spoke and looked; I mounted my 
horse- am here. I am glad it is so. I came at the call of the great chief, the chief of all the 
whites in the country, as well as all the Indians — the son of the mighty chief whose children are 
more numerous than the stars in the heavens or the leaves in the forest. Will you hear, and be 
advised? You will. Your wonderful improvement in the arts and sciences prove you are no fools. 
Surely you will hear; but if disposed to close your ears and stop them, they will be torn open wide, 
and you will be made to hear.' This speech from Mr. McKay, whose mother is part Indian, though 
the wife of Governor McLaughlin, had a singularly liappy influence, and opened the way for ex- 
pressions on the other side, from which there had not hitherto been a sentence uttered. 

"First arose Five Crows, a wealthy chief of forty-five, neatly attired in English costume. He 
stepped gravely but modestly forward to the table, remarking: ' It does not become me to speak 
first; I am but a youth, as yet, when compared with many of these, my fathers; but my feelings 
urge me to arise and say what I am about to utter in a very few words. I am glad the chief has 
come; I have listened to what has been said; have great hopes that brighter days are before us, be- 
cause I see all the whites united in this matter; we have much wanted something; hardly knew 
what; been groping and feeling for it in confusion and darkness. Here it is. Do we see it, and 
shall we accept it ? ' 

" Soon the Bloody Chief (not less than ninety years old) arose, and said: ' I speak to-day; per- 
haps to-morrow I die. I am the oldest chief of the tribe; was the high chief when your great 
brothers, Lewis and Clarke, visited this country; they visited me, and honored me with their friend- 
ship and counsel. I showed them my numerous wounds received in bloody battle with the Snakes; 
they told me it was not good, it was better to be at peace; gave me a flag of truce; I held it up 
high: we met and talked, but never fought again. Clarke pointed to this day, to you, and this occa- 
sion; we have long waited in expectation; sent three of our sons to Red river school to prepare for 





it; two of them sleep with their fathers; the other is here [Ellis], and can be ears, mouth and pen 
for us. I can say no more; I am quickly tired; my voice and limbs tremble. I am glad I live to 
see you and this day, but I shall soon be still and quiet in death.' 

" The speech was affecting. Six more spoke and the meeting adjourned three hours. Met at 
the hour appointed. All the chiefs and principal men being present, stated delicately the embar- 
rassed relation existing between whites and Indians in this upper country, by reason of a want of 
proper organization, or the chiefs' authority not being properly regarded; alluding to some cases 
of improprieties of young men, not sanctioned by the chiefs and old men; and where the chiefs 
had been in the wrong, hoped it had principally arisen from imperfectly understanding each other's 
language, or some other excusable cause, especially so far as they were concerned. Advised them, 
as they were now to some extent prepared, to choose one high chief of the tribe and acknowledge 
him as such by universal consent; all the other subordinate chiefs being of equal power, and so 
many helps to carry out all his lawful requirements, which they were at once to have in writing, in 
their own language, to regulate their intercourse with whites, and, in most cases, with themselves. 
I advised that each chief have five men as a bodyguard, to execute all their lawful commands. 
They desired to hear the laws. I proposed them clause by clause, leaving them as free to reject as 
to accept. They were greatly pleased with all proposed, but wished a heavier penalty to some, 
and suggested the dog law, which was annexed. We then left them to choose the high chief, 
assuring them if they did this unanimously by the following day at ten, we would all dine 
together with the chief, on a fat ox, at three, himself and myself at the head of the table; this 
pleased them well, and they set about it in good cheer and high hopes; but this was a new and deli- 
cate task, and they soon saw and felt it; however, all agreed that I must make the selection, and 
so reported two hours after we left the council. Assuring them this would not answer, that they 
must select their own chief, they seemed somewhat puzzled, and wished to know if it would be 
proper to counsel with Messrs. McKay and Rogers. On telling them that it was not improper, 
they left, a little relieved, and worked poor Rodgers and McKay severely for many hours; but 
altogether at length figured it out, and in great good humor, so reported at ten, appointing Ellis 
high chief. He is the one alluded to by Bloody G-hief, a sensible man of thirty-two, reading, 
speaking and writing the English language tolerably well; has a fine small plantation, a few sheep, 
some neat stock, and no less than eleven hundred head of horses. * * * * 

" This being done, I exhorted them to be in obedience to their chiefs, highly approving the 
choice they had made, assuring them, as he and the other chiefs were responsible to me for their 
good behavior, I should feel it my duty to see them sustained in all lawful measures to promote 
peace and order. I then turnei, and with good effect desired all the chiefs to look upon the con- 
gregation as their own children, and then pointed to Mr. Spalding and lady, and told the chiefs, 
and all present -to look upon them as their father and mother, and treat them in all respects as such; 
and should they happen to differ in sentiment respecting any matter during my absence, be cau- 
tious not to differ in feeling, but leave it unlil I should again return, when the chief and myself 
would rectify it. Thus closed this mutually happy and interesting meeting, and mounting our 
horses for home, Mr. Spalding and the chiefs accompanied us for some four or five miles, when 
we took leave of them in the pleasantest manner, not a single circumstance having occurred to mar 
our peace or shake each other's confidence." 

Tho chief selected was the one who had been educated by the Hudson's Bay 
Company, and had driven Rev. A. B. Smith from among his people. As between 
Americans and the English he could be counted upon as favoring the latter. 

The following were adopted, on this occasion, as the 


Article 1. Whoever willfully takes life shall be hung. 
Apt. 2. Whoever burns a dwelling-house shall be hung. 

Apt. 3. Whoever burns an out-building shall be imprisoned six months, receive 
fifty lashes, and pay all damages. 


Art. 4. Whoever carelessly burns a liouse, or any property, shall pay damages. 

Art. 5. If any one enter a dwelling, without permission of the occupants, the 
chiefs shall punish him as they think proper. Public rooms are excepted. 

Art. 6. If any one steal he shall pay back two-fold ; and if it be the value of a 
beaver skin or less, he shall receive twenty-five lashes ; and if the value is over a bea- 
ver skin he shall pay back two-fold, and receive fifty lashes. 

Art. 7. If any one take a horse and ride it, without permission, or take any 
article and use it, without liberty, he shall pay for the use of it, and receive from 
twenty to fifty lashes, as the chiefs shall direct. 

Art. 8. If any one enter a field, and injure the crops, or throw down the fence, 
so that cattle or horses go in and do damage, he shall pay all damages, and receive 
twenty-five lashes for every offense. 

Art. 9. Those only may keep dogs who travel or live among the game ; if a dog 
kill a lamb, calf, or any domestic animal, the owner shall pay the damages and kill 
the dog. 

Art. 10. If an Indian raise a gun or other weapon against a white man, it shall 
be reported to the chiefs, and they shall punish it. If a white do the same to an Indi- 
an, it shall be reported to Dr. White, and he shall punish or redress it. 

Art. 11. If an Indian break these laws, he shall be punished by his chiefs ; if a 
white man break them, he shall be reported to the agent, and punished at his instance. 

Reaching the Whitman mission, on his return, the agent met the few chiefs who 
had not gone east to hunt buffalos. Regarding the council that followed, Mr. White 
wrote : 

•' They had not proceeded far before Feather Cap, for the first time in his life, so far as we 
knew, commenced weeping, and wished to see me; said his heart was sick, ami he could not live long 
as he now felt. Tawatowe, who was no way implicated personally in the difficulties, and a correct 
man, continued for some time firm and steady to his purpose; said the whites were much more to 
blame than the Indians; that three-fourths of them, though they taught the purest doctrines, prac- 
ticed the greatest abominations — alluding to the base conduct of many in the Rocky mountains, 
where they meet them on their buffalo hunts during the summer season, and witness the greatest 
extravagances. They were shown the inapplicability of such instances to the present cases of diffi- 
culty. He, too, at last, was much subdued; wished to see me; was admitted; made a sensible 
speech in his own favor; said he was constituted, eight years before, high chief; entered upon its 
duties with spirit and courage, determined to reduce his people to order. He flogged the young 
men and reproved the middle-aged, till having none to sustain him, his popularity had so declied, 
that, except in seasons of difficulty brought about by their improprieties, ' I am left alone to say my 
prayers and go to bed, to weep over the follies and wickedness of my people/ Here his voice trem 
bled, and he wept freely; acknowledged it as his opinion that the mill was burnt purposely by 
some disaffected persons toward Dr. Whitman. * * * * I made an engagement to 
meet them and all the tribe on the 10th of the ensuing April, to adjust differences and come to a 
better understanding, they earnestly wishing to adopt such laws as the Nez Perces had done. We 
should probably have accomplished a satisfactory settlement, had not several of the influential 
chiefs been too far away to get information of the meeting. We reached Wascopum [Dalles] on 
December 25th, the Indians being in great excitement, having different views and impressions 
respecting the nature of the approaching visit. We spent four days with them, holding meetings 
daily, instructing them in the nature of government, civil relations, domestic duties, etc. Suc- 
ceeded, in like happy manner, with them as with the Nez Perces, they unanimously adopting the 
same code of laws." 

The following from the pen of H. B. Brewer, of the Dalles, indicates the effect 


that Mr. White's operation had produced at that point: "The Indians of this place 
intend to carry out the regulations you left them to the letter. They have been quite 
engaged in cutting logs for houses, and live in expectation of better dwellings by and 
by. For the least transgression of the laws, they are punished by their chiefs immedi- 
ately. The clean faces of some, and the tidy dresses of others, show the good effects 
of your visit." Upon this same point, Rev. H. H. Spalding wrote that: "The visit of 
Dr. White and assistants to this upper country will evidently prove an incalculable 
blessing to this people. 



1843, J 844 AND 1845. 

Early in 1843, the effort was renewed to organize a provisional government, this 
time, by the American settlers only. The missionaries even were not among those 
trusted in the primitive councils and operations of the organizers. The known hostil- 
ity of any interests in Oregon to a government not under control of such interest 
caused the settlers to plan with great caution and excute with extreme care. It be- 
came necessary for them to deceive every one, except a select few, in regard to their 
designs, in order to obtain a meeting of the settlers under circumstances that would not 
arouse the suspicion of those adverse to such action, and array them in active hostility. 
The number and influence of such were sufficient, when combined, to strangle the 
movement at its birth. A singular device was resorted to, one that showed the prime 
movers to be master strategists, men capable and equal to the task undertaken. Wild 
animals had been destroying the young stock belonging to the people of the country, 
and those who were wealthiest suffered most from such depredations. The Methodist 
mission and Hudson's Bay Company were consequently more anxious than the other 
settlers to be relieved of this scourge. There was but one sentiment, every one wished 
the depredators exterminated, and to do it necessitated a united action, an assembling 
of the people, and an organized movement. 

The conspirators circulated a notice calling. upon residents to meet for this pur- 
pose at the house of W. H. Gray on the second of February, 1843. The meeting took 
place and a committee of six was chosen to perfect a plan for exterminating wolves, 
bears and panthers, and then call a general meeting of the settlers to whom their con- 
clusions were to be submitted. That committee consisted of W. H. Gray, William H. 

Wilson, Alanson Beers, Joseph Gervais, a Rocky mountain hunter named Barnaby, 

and a Frenchman named Lucie, who had formerly been a member of Astor's ex- 
pedition to this coast. With the appointment of this committee, and a general ex- 


change of views upon the subject of wolves, bears, panthers, and the best way to get 
rid of their destructive raids upon stock, the meeting adjourned till the first Monday 
of the ensuing March, when the people were to meet at the house of Joseph Gervais. 
At the adjourned meeting, after the "wolf" organization had been completed by the 
adoption of the rules and regulations that were to govern it, one of the gentlemen 
present addressed the settlers, stating that no one would question for a moment the 
rightfulness of the proceedings just completed. It was a just, natural action taken by 
the people to protect their live stock from being destroyed by wolves, bears and pan- 
thers. "How is it, fellow citizens," said he, "with you and me, and our children and 
wives? Have we any organization upon which we can rely for mutual protection? 
Is there any power or influence in the country sufficient to protect us and all we hold 
dear on earth from the worse than wild beasts that threaten and occasionally destroy 
our cattle? Who in our midst is authorized at this moment to call us together to pro- 
tect our own, and the lives of our families? True, the alarm may be given, as in a 
recent case, and we may run who feel alarmed, and shoot off our guns, while our enemy 
may be robbing our property, ravishing our wives, and burning the houses over our de- 
fenceless families. Common sense, prudence, and justice to ourselves demand that we 
act consistent with the principles we have commenced. We have mutually and 
unitedly agreed to defend and protect our cattle and domestic animals; now, fellow 
citizens, I submit and move the adoption of the two following resolutions, that we may 
have protection for our persons and lives, as well as our cattle and herds: 

' Resolved, That a committee be appointed to take into consideration the propriety 
of taking measures for the civil and military protection of this colony. 

' Resolved, That said committee consist of twelve persons.' " 

The result of this speech, closing with resolutions, produced a unanimous vote in 
favor of their adoption, and the following committee for the purpose indicated was 
appointed, although the first two named were not present : I. L. Babcock, Elijah 

White, James A. O'Neil, Robert Shortess, Robert Newell, Lucie, Joseph Gervais, 

Thomas Hubbard, C. McRoy, W. H. Gray, Smith, and George Gay. 

In March, just three hundred years prior to this, Oregon had first been discovered 
by Cabrillo, the Spanish navigator. 

The first meeting of this committee was in the same month at Willamette Falls, 
where a lively discussion ensued, Rev. Jason Lee and George Abernethy taking strong 
grounds against the movement. They, with Revs. Leslie, Hines and Mr. Babcock, 
were in favor of waiting four years. The result of this meeting was that the commit- 
tee decided to strike the office of governor from the list which secured a unanimous 
vote in favor of calling another meeting on the ensuing second of May. In regard to 
that assemblage, we quote from page 279 of Gray's Oregon history : 

" The second of May, the day fixed by the committee of twelve to organize a settlers' govern- 
ment, was close at hand. The Indians had all learned that the ' Bostons' were going to have a big 
meeting, and they also new that the English and French were going to meet with them, to oppose 
what the ' Bostons ' were going to do. The Hudson's Bay Company had drilled and trained their 
voters for the occasion, under the Rev. F. N. Blanchet and his priests, and they were promptly on 
the ground in the open field near a small house, and, to the amusement of every American present, 
trained to vote ' No ' to every motion put; no matter, if to carry their point they should have voted 
' Yes,' it was ' No.' LeBreton had informed the committee, and the Americans generally, that this 


would be the course pursued, according to instructions, hence our motions were made to test then- 
knowledge of what they were doing, and we found just what we expected was the case. The priest 
was not prepared for our manner of meeting them, and, as the record shows, ' Considerable confu- 
sion was existing in consequence.'' By this time we had counted votes. Says LeBreton, ' We can 
risk it ; let us divide and count.' ' I second that motion,' says Gray. ' Who's for a divide ? ' sang 
out old Joe Meek, as he stepped out; ' all for the report of the committee and an organization, fol- 
low me.' This was so sudden and unexpectgd that the priest and his voters did not know what to 
do, but every American was soon in line. LeBreton and Gray passed the line and counted fifty-two 
Americans, and but fifty French and Hudson's Bay Company men. They announced the count — 
' fifty-two for, and fifty against.' ' Three cheers for our side,' sang out old Joe Meek. Not one of 
those old veteran mountain voices was lacking in that shout for liberty. They were given with a 
will, and in a few seconds the chairman, Judge I. L. Babcock, called the meeting to order, when 
the priest and his band slunk away into the corners of the fences, and in a short time mounted 
their horses and left." 

The proceedings of this meeting, subsequent to the departure of those adverse to 
to the action taken by the American settlers, were as follows : 

" It was then moved and carried, that the report of the committee be taken up and disposed 
of article by article. 

"A motion was made and carried, that a supreme judge, with probate powers, be chosen to 
officiate in this community. 

'• Moved and carried, that a clerk of the court, or recorder, be chosen. 

" Moved and carried, that a sheriff be chosen. 

" Moved and earned, that three magistrates be chosen. 

" Moved and carried, that three constables be chosen. 

" Moved and carried, that a committee of nine persons be chosen, for the purpose of drafting a 
code of laws for the government of this community, to be presented to a public meeting to be here- 
after called by them, for their acceptance. 

" A motion was made and carried, that a treasurer be chosen. 

" Moved and carried, that a major and three captains be chosen. 

"Moved and carried, that we now proceed to choose the persons to fill the various offices by 

"A. E. Wilson was chosen to act as supreme judge, with probate powers; G. W. LeBreton 
was chosen to act as clerk of court, and recorder; J. L. Meek was chosen to fill the office of sheriff; 
W. H. Wilson was chosen treasurer. 

" Moved and carried, that the remainder of the officers be chosen by hand ballot, and nomina- 
ted from the floor. 

"Messrs. Hill, Shortess, Newell, Beers, Hubbard, Gray, O'Neil, Moore, and Dougherty, were 
chosen to act as Legislative Committee; Messrs. Burns, Judson, and A. B. Smith were chosen to 
act as magistrates; Messrs. Ebbetts, Bridgers, and Lewis were chosen to act as constables; Mr. 
John Howard was chosen major; Messrs. William McCarty, C. McRoy, and S. Smith were chosen 

" Moved and carried, that the Legislative Committee make their report on the fifth day of July 
next, at Champoeg. 

"Moved and carried, that the services of the Legislative Committee be paid for at $1.25 per 
day, and that the money be raised by subscription. 

"Moved and carried, that the major and captains be instructed to enlist men to form companies 
of mounted riflemen. 

" Moved and carried, that an additional constable and magistrate be chosen. 

"Mr. Compo, was chosen as an additional magistrate. Mr. Matthew was chosen as an addi- 
tional constable. 

" Moved and carried, that the Legislative Committee shall not sit over six days. 

" The meeting was then adjourned. 

" The question having arisen with regard to what time the newly appointed officers should 


commence their duties, the meeting was again called to order, when it was moved and carried, that 
the old officers act till the laws are made and accepted, or until the next public meeting. 

"Attest: G. W. LeBreton." 
May 16, the Legislative Committee met at the old Methodist mission hear the 
present site of Wheatland and held a six days' session, and then adjourned till July 5. 
At these several meetings, the legislative body prepared or put in process of prepara- 
tion, the machinery and forms of a provisional government to be submitted to the people 
at Champoeg on the day to which they had adjourned. The executive department of 
the government was placed in charge of a triumvirate. The larger portion of the laws 
of Iowa were adopted to guide the infant republic and then the people returned to their 
homes, feeling that they were now in condition to act unitedly for the common good, 
and there was need of it. 


Executive Committee, David Hill, Alanson Beers and Joseph Gale. 

Supreme Judge, A. E. Wilson. 

Clerk or Recorder, George W. LeBreton. 

Sheriff, Joseph L. Meek. 

Treasurer, W. H. Wilson. 

Legislative Committee: 1 Robert Shortess, David Hill, Dr. Robert Newell, Alan- 
son Beers, Thomas Hubbard, W. H. Gray, James O'JSTiel, Robert Moore and William 


The reader will not have forgotten the tragic fate of Pierre Dorion, whose wife 
and little family reached Walla Walla in April, 1814, just in time to bear the depart- 
ing remnant of Astor's expedition, the sad news of her husband and his companions' 
death in the Rocky mountains. This woman had remained in the country since, and 
in 1843 one of her sons, named Baptiste, was an interpreter of Indian languages for 
the Hudson's Bay Company. He circulated a report among the tribes skirting the 
Blue mountains, after the return of Dr. White from visiting them in the fall of 1842 : 
"That the whites would come in the summer and kill them all off and destroy their 
plantations." 2 This created a sensation among the tribes, and the young warriors were 
disposed to inaugurate a war of extermination against the Americans. Less hostile 
counsels from the older braves and chiefs prevailed, and Peo-peo-muz-mux of the Walla 
Walla tribe visited Fort Vancouver, as an Indian envoy, to ascertain what truth was 
contained in Dorion's statements. Dr. McLaughlin informed this chief that the Hud- 
son's Bay Company had nothing to do with any projected war against the Indians and 
did not believe the Americans had; that if they comtemplated hostility, the Hudson's 
Bay Company would not assist them. 3 This served to quiet matters materially, and 
the natives planted their spring crops; but there was still left with them a spirit of 
mistrust, and fear that the Americans designed taking their lands and bringing mis- 
fortune upon them. The Protestant missionaries became alarmed and sent to the Wil- 
lamette for Dr. White to come among the natives and try to reassure them. 

1 This committee was discharged at the public meeting held July 5, 1843. 

2 Hines' History of Oregon, page 165. 

3 Hines' History of Oregon, page 165. 


The Sub-Indian Agent started for this purpose in the latter part of April, 1843, 
accompanied by Rev. Gustavus Hines the historian, George W. LeBreton, one Indian 
boy and a Kanacka. The French Canadians, who were to have accompanied them 
were prevented from so doing by Dr. McLaughlin, who advised them "To have nothing 
to do with the quarrel, to remain quiet at home and let the Americans take care of 
themselves." 1 This advice was given when the Doctor learned from Father Demers, 
who had just arrived from the interior, that: "The Indians are only incensed against 
the Boston people [Americans]; that they have nothing against the French and King 
George people; they are not mad at them, but are determined that the Boston people 
shall not have their lands and take away their liberties." 2 Dr. McLaughlin's action 
in this matter will not be considered so extraordinary when the reader comes to know 
that the American settlers had, but a few days before this, almost unanimously signed 
a memorial to the United States Congress, censuring the Doctor very severely, and he 
was smarting at the time under what he considered their unjust and ungenerous attack. 

Upon reaching the interior, the disaffected tribes were met in council, and quiet 
was restored. The Cayuse Indians adopted the same laws that had been introduced 
the previous fall among the Nez Perces, and they elected Five Crows, who had adopted 
the Protestant religion and was friendly to the Americans, as their general chief. Mr. 
Hines records of this trip that: "I was greatly surprised, in traveling through the In- 
dian country, to find that these outward forms of Christianity are observed in. almost 
every lodge. The Indians generally are nominally Christian, and about equally divided 
betwixt the Protestant and Catholic religion^ He also notes an interview had with 
Rev. Cushing Eells in charge of the mission among the Spokanes, and states that: "He 
gave us an account of his mission, rather discouraging upon the whole from the oppo- 
sition arrayed against him from the Catholics." On the contrary, the historian of the 
Catholic church in Oregon writes, pages 136 and 137, concerning events in 1843, that: 

"On reaching the Clackamas Indian villiage, Rev. A. Langlois found the cross 
erected in 1841 had disappeared. It had been cut down by order of the Methodist 
preacher Waller, to the great sorrow of the Indians. Yes, the cross which shows the 
excess of the love of the Son of God for man; the cross by which Jesus Christ, our 
Blessed Redeemer, redeemed the world ; the cross made known from one of the 
two thieves by a miracle ; the cross shown to Constantine, in heaven, with the 
words: 'Hoc signo vinces/ the cross which converted the whole world from 
paganism, and which is a terror to the devils ; the cross, whose sign shall appear at the 
last day, that cross is a scandal to the Methodist minister Waller; he has it in horror, 
as the devils, he cannot bear the sight of it ; he ordered it to be cut down, and pre- 
tended to teach the poor Indians Christ crucified, without showing them a cross ! ! ! 
Great God ! What subversion of ideas and judgment in the sect ! What destruction 
of saving doctrine ! What turning upside down of common good sense and true 
religion rather unfortunately too well typified by the turning upside down of a table 
adorning the short belfry (short faith), of the Methodist churches!" 

From the foregoing, it will be seen that the spirit of antagonism was strong and 
demonstrative in 1843, between the Protestant and Catholic representatives of religion 

1 Hines' History of Oregon, page 149. 

2 Hines' History of Oregon, page 149. 


in Oregon, and that the latter denomination was making the most successful effort 
among the Indians for a following. It is charged, in Gray's history, that zeal led the 
Jesuits to adopt the plan of spreading reports among the savages, calculated to create 
with them mistrust of, and hostility towards Americans, doing this, because Americans 
in general believed in the Protestant faith. It is also charged by him that the diffi- 
culties of 1842 and 1843 with Indians in the interior, were the result of their acting 
upon such plan to drive Americans and American missionaries with their Protestant 
influence, out of the country; and, that the Hudson's Bay Company, sympathizing with 
the end, countenanced the means employed to achieve it. He gives no direct testimony 
in support of such charges, but relies upon circumstantial evidence to maintain his 
opinion. The circumstances as stated are unquestionable, but there is a difference of 
opinion in regard to whether he is warranted in drawing such conclusions from them. 
That Jesuits desired the absence of Protestant influence from among the tribes no one 
will question ; but does it follow that such desire was sufficiently strong at this time, to 
cause their spreading reports among Indians, regardless of consequences, of a nature 
calculated to create mistrust and hostility sufficient to either influence an expulsion of 
Protestants from among them; cause a general massacre of missionaries, or bring on a 
war with the Americans ? Some will reply yes, the desire was sufficiently strong then, 
for we believe they did it, while others will hold a contrary view. It will remain an 
open question for all time, unless direct testimony of an unquestioned nature shall 
come in the future, to lay this ghost. 


When Dr. Whitman reached the Eastern settlements in January, 1843, he 
learned that negotiation between the United States and Great Britain in regard to the 
boundary question, which had caused his winter journey to the States, had terminated 
for the time being in what is known as the Ashburton treaty. The line between Ore- 
gon and the British possessions, however, had been left undetermined, and the policy 
of joint occupancy continued as heretofore. In interviews with various members of 
Congress, Daniel Webster and President Tyler, he urged the importance of securing 
for the Republic as much of indefinite Oregon as was practicable ; contending that it 
was a country, rich in natural resources, and accessible by land from the States. He 
found that public men possessed but little knowledge of the territory west of the Rocky 
mountains, over which the two nations had been contending, deeming it of little value 
because of its supposed isolation, inhospitable soil and climate. Such had been the 
tenor of all printed reports in regard thereto, since Lewis and Clarke had lived on dog 
meat to keep from starving as they passed over it. Such was the report from the 
Hudson's Bay Company to Lord Ashburton, and so his friend Webster understood it. 
The Doctor assured them that from his own personal knowledge, he could declare the 
contrary of all this to be a fact ; and, to demonstrate it, he would guide a train of im- 
migrants with their stock and wagons over the plains and mountains to the Columbia 
river. Receiving assurances from the President that the question should remain as it 
was, until an opportunity was given for such demonstration, the Doctor proceeded to 
settle up such other matters as he contemplated attending to, and then pushed on to 



join the immigrants congregating on the frontier to cross the plains with him to Ore- 
gon. Eight hundred and seventy-five persons, with their wagons, and thirteen 
hundred head of cattle, guided through the mountains by Dr. Whitman, reached 
the Columbia river in September of that year, and the question as to which govern- 
ment should possess Oregon was solved. Of that overland journey in 1843, Rev. 
H. H. Spalding feelingly writes : 

"And through that great emigration during that whole summer, the Doctor was their everywhere- 
present angel of mercy, ministering to the sick, helping the weary, encouraging the wavering, cheer- 
ing the mothers, mending wagons, setting broken bones, hunting stray oxen, climbing precipices; now 
in the rear, now at the front; in the rivers, looking out fords through the quicksands; in the deserts, 
looking for water; in the dark mountains, looking out passes; at noontide or midnight, as though 
those thousands were his own children, and those wagons and flocks were his own property. Al- 
though he asked not, nor expected, a dollar as a reward from any source, he felt himself abun- 
dantly rewarded when he saw the desire of his heart accomplished, the great wagon route over the 
mountains established, and Oregon in a fair way to be occupied with American settlements and 
American commerce." 


To the pioneer association of Oregon, one of their members delivered an address 
in 1875 in which he gave his reasons for emigrating in 1843 to this coast. "I was a 
poor, homeless, youth," he observed, "destitute alike of friends, money and education. 
Actuated by a reckless spirit of adventure, one place was to me the same as another. 
No tie of near kindred or possessions bound me to any spot of the earth's surface. 
Thinking my condition might be bettered, and knowing it could not be worse, I took a 
leap in the dark." This youth, J. W. Nesmith, whose morning life was shadowed by 
such sombre clouds, became in after years one of Oregon's most able representatives in 
the United States Senate, and in the address referred to he gives the names of those 
men, over sixteen years of age, who crossed the plains to Oregon in 1843. He had 
taken them 295 in all, at the time and preserved the roll which is given as follows : 


Applegate, Jesse 
Applegate, Charles 
Applegate, Lindsey 
Athey, James 
Athey, William 
Atkinson, John 
Arthur, William 
Arthur, Robert 
Arthur, David 
Butler, Amon, 
Brooke, George 
Burnett, Peter H. 
Bird, David 
Brown, Thomas A. 
Blevins, Alexander 
Brooks, John P. 
Brown, Martin 
Brown, Oris 
Black, J. P. 

Bane, Lay ton 
Baker, Andrew 
Baker, John G. 
Beagle, William 
Boyd, Levi 
Baker, William 
Biddle, Nicholas 
Beale, George 
Braidy, James 
Beadle, George 


Baldridge, William 
Cason, F. C. 
Cason, James 
Chapman, William 
Cox, John 
Champ, Jacob 
Cooper, L. C. 
Cone, James 

Childers, Moses 
Carey, Miles 
Cochran, Thomas 
Clymour, L. 
Copenhaver, John 
Caton, J. H. 
Chappel, Alfred 
Cronin, Daniel 
Cozine, Samuel 
Costable, Benedict 
Childs, Joseph 
Clark, Ransom 
Campbell, John G. 


Chase, James 
Dodd, Solomon 
Dement, William C. 
Dougherty, W. P. 
Day, William 

Duncan, James 
Dorin, Jacob 
Davis, Thomas 
Delany, Daniel. 
Delany, Daniel, Jr. 
Delany, William 
Doke, William 
Davis, J. H. 
Davis, Burrell 
Dailey, George 
Doherty, John 


Eaton, Charles 
Eaton, Nathan 
Etchell, James, 
Emerick, Solomon 
Eaker, John "W. 
Edson. E. G. 
Eyres, Miles 



East, John W. 
Everman, Niniwon 
Ford, Ninevah 
Ford, Ephram 
Ford, Niinrod 
Ford, John 
Francis, Alexander 
Frazier, Abner 
Frazier, William 
Fowler, William 
Fowler, William J. 
Fowler, Henry 
Fairly, Stephen 
Fendall, Charles 
Gantt, John 
Gray, Chiley B. 
Garrison, Enoch 
Garrison, J. W. 
Garrison, W. J. 
Gardner, William 
Gardner, Samuel 
Gilmore, Mat. 
Goodman, Richard 
Gilpin, Major 


Haggard, B. 
Hide, H. H. 
Holmes, William 
Holmes, Riley A. 
Hobson, John 
Hobson, William 
Hembre, J. J. 
Hembre, James 
Hembre, Andrew 
Hembre, A. J. 
Hall, Samuel B. 
Houk, James 
Hughes, William P. 
Hendrick, Abijah 
Hays, James 
Hensley, Thomas J. 
Holley, B. 
Hunt, Henry 
Holderness, S. M. 
Hutchins, Isaac 
Husted, A. 
Hess, Joseph 
Hann, Jacob 
Howell, John 
Howell, William 
Howell, Wesley 
Howell, W. G. 
Howell, Thomas E. 
Hill, Henry 
Hill, William 

Hill, Almoran 
Hewett, Henry 
Hargrove, William 
Hoyt, A. 
Holman, John 
Holman, Daniel 
Harrigas, B. 
James, Calvin 
Jackson, John B. 
Jones, John 
Johnson, Overton 
Keyser, Thomas 
Keyser, J. B. 
Keyser, Pleasant 



Lovejoy, A. L. 
Lenox, Edward 
Lenox. E. 
Layson, Aaron 
Looney, Jesse 
Long, John E. 
Lee. H. A. G. 
Lugur, F. 
Linebarger, Lew 
Linebarger, John 
Laswell, Isaac 
Loughborough, J. 
Little, Milton 


Lauderdale, John 


Martin, William J. 
Martin, James 
Martin, Julius 


McClelland, F. 
Mills, John B. 
Mills, Isaac 
Mills, William A. 
Mills, Owen 
McGarey, G. W. 
Mondon, Gilbert 
Matheny, Daniel 
Matheny, Adam 
Matheny, J. N. 
Matheny, Josiah 
Matheny, Henry 
Mastire, A. J. 
McHaley, John 
Myers, Jacob 
Manning, John 
Manning, James 
McCarver, M. M. 
McCorcle, George 

Mays, William 
Millican, Elijah 
McDaniel, William 
McKissic, D. 
Malone, Madison 
McClane, John B. 
Mauzee, William 
Mclntire, John 
Moore, John 
Matney, W. J. 
Nesmith, J. W. 
Newby, W. T. 
Newman, Noah 
Naylor, Thomas 
Osborn, Neil 
O'Brien, Hugh D. 
O'Brien, Humphrey 
Owen, Thomas A. 
Owen, Thomas 
Otie, E. W. 
Otie, M. B. 
O'Neil, Bennett 
Olinger, A. 
Parker, Jesse 
Parker, William 
Pennington, J. B. 
Poe, R. H. 
Painter, Samuel 
Patterson, J. R. 
Pickett, Charles E. 
Prigg, Frederick 
Paine, Clayborn 
Reading, P. B. 
Rodgers, S. P. 
Rodgers, G. W. 
Russell, William 
Roberts, James 
Rice, G. W. 
Richardson, John 
Richardson, Daniel 
Ruby, Philip 
Ricord, John 
Reid, Jacob 
Roe, John 
Roberts, Solomon 
Roberts, Emseley 
Rossin, Joseph 
Rives, Thomas 
Smith, Thomas H. 
Smith, Thomas 
Smith, Tsaac W. 
Smith, Anderson 
Smith, Ahi 
Smith, Robert 
Smith, Eli 

Sheldon, William 
Stewart, P. G. 
Sutton, Dr. Nathaniel 
Stimmerman, C. 
Sharp, C. 
Summers, W. C. 
Sewell, Henry 
Stout, Henry 
Sterling, George 



Story, James 


Shively, John M. 
Shirley, Samuel 
Stoughton, Alexander 
Spencer, Chauncey 
Strait, Hiram 
Summers, George 
Stringer, Cornelius 
Stringer, C. W. 
Tharp, Lindsey 
Thompson, John 
Trainor, D. 
Teller, Jeremiah 
Tarbox, Stephen 
Umnicker, John 
Vance, Samuel 
Vaughn, William 
Vernon, George 
Wilmont, James 
Wilson, William H. 
Wair, J. W. 
Winkle, Archibald 
Williams, Edward 
Wheeler, H. 
Wagoner, John 
Williams, Benjamin 
Williams, David 
Wilson, William 
Williams, John 
Williams, James 
Williams, ^Squire 
Williams, Isaac 
Ward, T. B. 
White, James 
Watson, John (Betty) 
Waters, James 
Winter, William 
Waldo, Daniel 
Waldo, David 
Waldo, William 
Zachary, Alexander 
Zachary, John 



Add to this list the names furnished by the same party, of those who were living 
in Oregon when these emigrants arrived, and it introduces the reader to nearly all of 
the actual settlers of this border territory at that time, except those connected with 
the Hudson's Bay Company, or its former employes. 


Armstrong, Pleasant 
Burns, Hugh 


Brown, William 


Black, J. M. 

Balis, James 
Bailey, Dr. W. J. 


Crawford, Medorem 
Carter, David 
Campbell, Samuel 
Campbell, Jack 
Craig, William 
Cook, Amos 
Cook, Aaron 


Cannon, William 
Davy, Allen 
Doty, William 
Eakin, Richard 

Ebbetts, Squire 
Edwards, John 
Foster, Philip 
Force, John 
Force, James 
Fletcher, Francis 
Gay, George 
Gale, Joseph 


Hathawy, Felix 
Hatch, Peter H. 
Hubbard, Thomas 
Hewitt, Adam 
Horegon, Jeremiah 
Holman, Joseph 
Hill, David 
Hauxhurst, Weberly 


Johnson, William 


Lewis, Reuben 

LeBreton, G. W. 
Larrison, Jack 
Meek, Joseph L. 
Mathieu, F. X. 
McClure, John 
Moss, S. W. . 
Moore, Robert 


McCarty, William 
McKay, Charles 
McKay, Thomas 


Mack, J. W. 

New banks, 

Newell, Robert 
O'Neil, James A. 
Pettygrove, F. W. 
Pomeroy, Dwight 
Pomeroy, Walter 



Robb, J. R. 
Shortess, Robert 
Smith, Sidney 


Smith, Andrew 
Smith, Andrew, Jr. 
Smith, Darling 


Sailor, Jack 
Turnham, Joel 


Taylor, Hiram 
Tibbetts, Calvin 


Walker, C. M. 
Warner, Jack 
Wilson, A. E. 
Winslow, David 
Wilkins, Caleb 
Wood, Henry 
Williams, B. 

Russell, Osborn 


Dr. Marcus Whitman, L. H. Judson, 

A. F. Waller, 
David Leslie 
Hamilton Campbell, 
George Abernethy, 
William H. Willson, 

W. H. Gray, 
E. Walker, 
Cushing Eells, 
Alanson Beers, 

Jason Lee, 
Gustavus Hines, 
H. K. W. Perkins, 
M. H. B. Brewer, 
Dr. J. L. Babcock, 

Dr. Elijah White, 
Harvey Clark, 
H. H. Spalding, 
J. L. Parrish, 
H. W. Raymond. 


There was a Molalla Indian of independent nature and belligerent disposition who 
was a sub-chief. He had a few braves who partook somewhat of his spirit, and they 
were generally the prime movers in such hostile acts as the natives of the Willamette 
indulged in. He was rebellious of restraint, and not friendly to the encroachment of 
the white settlers. A relative of his having mistreated Rev. Perkins at the Dalles, 
was sentenced by the Wasco tribe to be punished according to Dr. White's laws. The 
sub-chief was enraged at the whipping his kinsman had received, and set out to re- 
venge the insult upon the Indian Agent. Reaching the Agent's Willamette home dur- 
ing his absence, he proceeded to break every window pane in the house. He was 
pursued, but not caught, and became an object of terror to the Doctor. All depreda- 
tion committed in the country was charged to this sub-chief, and it finally resulted in 

100 OREGON. 

the offer by Dr. White of one hundred dollars reward for the arrest of the formidable 
Indian. Learning that he was being accused of acts committed by others, the sub- 
chief visited Oregon City March 4, accompanied by four of his band, with the avowed 
purpose of having a talk with the whites for the purpose of exculpating himself. He 
entered the town, staid for about an hour, and then crossed the river to visit an Indian 
village to procure an interpreter. He then recrossed the Willamette when a scene 
followed that is thus described by the Indian Agent : 

" By this time, the excitement had become intense with all classes and both sexes, among the 
whites, and, as was to be expected, they ran in confusion and disorder toward the point where the 
Indians were landing — some to take him alive and get the reward; others to shoot him at any risk to 
themselves, the wealthiest men in town promising to stand by them to the amount of $1,000 each. 
With these different views, and no concert of action, and many running merely to witness the affray, 
the Indians were met at the landing, and a firing commenced simultaneously on both sides, each 
party accusing the other of firing first. In the midst of a hot firing on both sides, Mr. Oeorge W. 
LeBreton, a respectable young man, rushed unarmed upon Cockstock [the sub-chief] after the dis- 
charge of one or more of his pistols, and received a heavy discharge in the palm of his right 
hand, lodging one ball in his elbow and another in his arm, two inches above the elbow joint. A 
scuffle ensued, in which he fell with the Indian, crying out instantly, 'He is killing me with his 
knife.' At this moment a mulatto man ran up, named Winslow Anderson, and dispatched Cock- 
stock, by mashing his skull with the barrel of his rifle, using it as a soldier would a bayonet. In 
the meantime the other Indians were firing among the whites in every direction, with guns, pistols, 
and poisoned arrows, yelling fearfully, and many narrowly escaped. Two men who were quietly 
at work near by, were wounded with arrows (Mr. Wilson slightly in the hip, and Mr. Rogers in the 
muscle of the arm), but neither, as was supposed, dangerously. The five Indians having shot their 
guns and arrows, retired toward the bluff east of the town, lodged themselves in the rocks, and 
again commenced firing upon the citizens indiscriminately. Attention was soon directed that way, 
and fire-arms having been brought, the Indians were soon routed, killing one of their horses, and 
wounding one of them, thus ending the affray." 

Bishop F. N. Blanchet gives a different version of this affair, which we append : 

" One Klikatat Indian had been killed, he, his two wives and a baptized child in the upper 
Clackamas river. Some one falsely accused the chief of the Molalis River Indians of the crime. A 
most certain report, even among the Indians, was that the massacre had been committed by two 
slaves whom their master had maltreated too much, and who had been seen returning to their land 
with the booty of their master. Dr. White who gave credit to the first report, had promised a re- 
ward of $100 for the apprehension of said chief, living or dead. The chief of the Molalis did not 
ignore what had happened. Conscious of his innocence, but well armed, he had come to the town, 
accompanied with four men. He crossed over to the Indian side. During that time, there came the 
question to apprehend him. Dr. McLaughlin's store clerk remarked, ' That Indian is a good man; 
you should not molest him; if you do, you will repent!' No matter, the Doctor's secretary (Le 
Breton) and a mulatto persisted; and asked him to surrender on his return. He refuses; they in- 
sist; he defends himself; the mulatto is ordered to shoot, the shot starts, and the Indian is wounded. 
He rushes on his aggressors, who run away. He was nearly overtaking the secretary, who turning, 
seized the muzzle of the pistol with his right hand, the shot starts and enters and passes through 
his arm; the Indian staggers and falls, and the mulatto finishes him with "the butt end of his gun. 
The four other Indians begin to shoot with guns or arrows; Americans come at the noise, and return 
fire, but without catching them, and having two men wounded." 

Rev. M. Demers being present at the time writes from Oregon City two days after 
the occurrence that: 

" I heard the musket shots closely succeeding, but I made light of them, till I saw men run- 
ning backward and forward in the streets, loading their pistols and carbines. I asked what it was. 
'An Indian fight,' was the answer. ' LeBreton has received two arrows, one in the arm and the 
other in the thigh, I think.' There was such a confusion that twenty-five Indians as brave and de- 

OREGON. 101 

terruined as tliey were, could have killed all the settlers. The Indians of the other side say that 
the deceased had come to have a talk with the whites, in order to disculpate himself from the charge 
made against him. The mulatto, Winslow, on seeing him, said, ' That is the man who would kill 
him,' and for whose capture Dr. White had promised a reward of $100, which LeBreton has gained. 
I have seen the poor Indian; he was still breathing. But, O, barbarity! the negro who said it was 
he who pierced his hat with a bullet, did pierce him after he was dead; and, in the morning, his 
head had been found split and entirely separated above the forehead, and the brains still clung to 
the ax which had been the instrument for such savage cruelty. * * * The 

settlers seem to acknowledge they have been too quick, in this unfortunate affair; but the unlucky 
deed is over; it is a true murder; based upon the extremely inconsiderate conduct of Dr. White, 
and the rash and unjustifiable action of poor LeBreton who will pay dear for his apostasy and 

To give the Molalla chief credit for visiting Oregon City with hostile intent ac- 
companied by four braves only, would be asking too much of human credulity. Only 
a fool, a lunatic, or a Hercules would do such a thing; and a desire to avoid danger 
by entering into an explanation to the citizens that would disarm their hostility, is 
the only plausible reason that has been given to account for his presence at that time. 
Whatever may have been the cause or whoever may have been iu the wrong, the re- 
sults following were unquestioned; one Indian had been killed, the unfortunate 
LeBreton was dead of his wounds; the poisoned arrow entering the arm of poor 
Rogers had sent him to an untimely grave, and the whole country was thrown into a 
fever of excitement. The Executive Committee issued a proclamation for the organi- 
zation of a military force, and the citizens met for that purpose at Champoeg on the 
ninth of March. A company was formed at the time with nineteen names upon the 
rolls when officers were elected, T. D. Keizer being chosen captain, J. L. Morrison, 
first lieutenant, and a Mr. Cason as ensign. 


In May, 1844, Rev. George Gary reached Oregon by sea to supersede Jason Lee 
— who was then on his way to the States — in charge of the Methodist missions. He 
immediately disposed of all the mission proj3erty except that at the Dalles, and discon- 
tinued mission labors among the Indians except at the last named station, which was 
placed in charge of Rev. A. F. Waller, and later was sold to the American Board. 
The missionary lay force was all discharged, several of the ministers returned to the 
East, and the close of 1844 saw the Methodist mission force reduced to five, namely: 
Revs. George Gary, David Leslie, A. F. Waller, H. K. W. Perkins and G. Hines. 
This was the practical end of the movement inaugurated in the Willamette by Jason 
Lee with the purpose of Christianizing the aborigines of the country. It had failed 
in its original purpose, but had become, with the interior missions, the chief factor in 
solving the problem of American settlement in Oregon. The projectors and those 
whose labor made it a moral nucleus and a civilizing center, around which the fron- 
tiersman and the American Argonauts could rally and save to our Republic so fair a 
country, deserve much, and get but little of either credit, kindly remembrance or grat- 
itude even, from those who are benefiited thereby. 

The same year that saw the Methodist withdrawn from the missionary arena, — 

and we call it arena because it was a field of contest — witnessed a material increase of the 

Catholic force in Oregon to labor among the natives. In August, Father P. J. DeSmet 

102 OREGON. 

reached the Columbia river by sea with four priests, several lay brothers, and six sis- 
ters of Notre Dame, the latter to found a convent in the Willamette valley which they 
took possession of, October 19, of that year. Three priests sent overland from St. 
Louis, Missouri, reached the Flathead tribe the same year. 

The following is taken from Father F. N. Blanchet's historic sketch of the Cath- 
olic church, as being the best authority extant as to its condition and the success 
accomplished in Oregon, in antagonism to Protestant efforts, by Jesuit priests prior to 

"At the end of 1844, after six years of efforts, disproportioned with the needs of the country, 
the vast mission of Oregon, on the eve of its being erected into a vicariate apostolic, had gained 
nearly all the Indian tribes of the Sound, Caledonia, and several of the Rocky mountains, and 
lower Oregon. It had brought 6,000 pagans to the faith. Nine missions had been founded; five 
in lower Oregon, and four at the Rocky mountains. Eleven churches and chapels had been 
erected; five in lower Oregon, two in Caledonia, and four at the Rocky mountains. One thousand 
Canadians, women and children, had been saved from the imminent peril of losing their faith. The 
schemes of the Protestant ministers had been fought and nearly annihilated, especially at Nesqualy, 
Vancouver, Cascades, Clackamas, and Willamette falls, so that a visitor came in 1844 and disbanded 
the whole Methodist mission, and sold its property. The Catholic mission possessed two .educa- 
tional establishments, one for boys and the other for girls; the number of its missionaries had 
been raised from eight (four secular and four regular priests) to fifteen, without speaking of the 
treasure the mission had in the persons of the good sisters of Notre Darrie de Namur. Such were 
the results obtained in spite of the want of missionaries which greatly impaired all their efforts 

The missions under charge of Dr. Whitman and Rev. H. H. Spalding in the in- 
terior were prosperous; especially that of the latter, which was accomplishing much 
towards civilizing the tribe among whom it was located. Concerning these Nez Perce's 
with whom Rev. Spalding was stationed at that time, J. B. Littlejohn wrote November 
1, 1844: 

" The Indians are becoming civilized as fast or faster than any tribes concerning whom £ am 
informed. Their anxiety for cattle, hogs, and sheep, is very great; leading them to make most 
commendable efforts to obtain them, and their efforts are by no means vain. They have purchased 
a good number from those who are emigrating to this country, by exchanging their horses for 
cat+Ie. Thus, while their horses have been very useful to this immigrants they have benefited 
themselves. They are enlarging their farms yearly — improving much in fencing, etc. Quite a 
number of families are enabled to live from what they raise on their farms, the milk of their cows, 
and their beef. There is perfect quietness existing between them, and I have no doubt this state 
of things will continue to exist." 


The election in Oregon of this year, the first except such as had occurred at public 
meetings, is important as showing in what sections of country the people resided who 
took sufficient interest in the country's welfare to vote. The Tualatin district included 
what now is Washington, Multnomah, Columbia, Clatsop and Tillamook counties, and 
the persons chosen to represent it were Peter H. Burnett, aftewards Governor of Cali- 
fornia, David Hill, M. Gilmore and M. M. McCarver. The Champoeg district, that 
has since been divided into Linn, Marion, Baker, Douglas and Jackson counties, was 
represented by Robert Newell, Daniel Waldo and Thomas D. Keizer. In the Clackamas 
district was what is now the eastern part of Oregon, a portion of Montana, and all of 
Idaho and Washington Territories. This immense region with its few settlers was 
represented by A. L. Lovejoy, who died September 10, 1882, in Portland, Oregon. 



ELECTION OF MAY 14, 1844. 


Executive Committee. 



P.G. Stewart* 41 

Osborn Bussell* 40 

Alanson Beers • ■ • 21 

Jesse Applegate 11 

Peter H. Burnett 10 

Hugh Burns 6 

DavidHill 6 

W. J. Bailey* 3 

William Dougherty 3 

A. Lawrence Lovejoy 2 

Kobert Newell 2 

A. J. Hembree 1 

William G-eiger : 

Spencer = 

Territorial Recorder or Clerk.. 

Dr. John E. Long* 33 

O. Johnson. . : 24 

C. M. Walker , 8 

J. G. Campbell 1 

A. E. Wilson 

F. X. Mathieu 

Supreme Court Judge. 

James L. Babcock 2 * 

J.W. Nesmith 39 

Peter H. Burnett 16 

P. G-. Stewart 2 

Osborn Russell 4 

O. Johnson 

Territorial Treasurer. 

Phil. Foster* 40 

Ninevah Ford 4 

P. H. Hatch 4 

A. E. Wilson 2 

John E. Long 1 

W. C. Remick 1 

Territorial Sheriff. 
Joseph L. Meek* 64 

B. Harragus 2 

William Holmes 1 

Legislative Committee* 

M. G-ilmore* 

Peter H. Burnett* 

David Hill* 

M. M. McCarver* 

is. Tualatin. 



15 . . 

. . . . 84 

... 140 

22 . . 

....182 ... 

... 244 

10 . . 

. . . . 18 






. . . . 67 

... 70 

23 . . 


10 . . 


7 .. 










2 .. 


.... 65 


. . . . 88 





1 .. 




.... 8 .. 

. . . . 48 

6 .. 


. . 4 




.... 79 


27 . . 

... 27 

32 . . 

. ... 32 

24 . . 

. . . . 24 

20 . 

. ... 20 

1 For the Oregon election returns prior to 1853, we are under obligation to J. Henry Brown of Salem, who has been for 

several years compiling a political history of the State, that when completed will undoubtedly be a desirable work. 

2 Resigned November 11, 1844. 

3 No returns from Clackamas district. 
* Elected. 



Champoeg. Total. 


Executive Committee. Clackamas. Tualatin. 

W.T.Perry 8 8 

T. D. Keizer* 67 67 

Daniel Waldo* .- 75 75 

Robert Newell* 75 75 

W. H. Gray. 20 20 

W.J.Bailey 11 H 

F. C. Cason 18 .... 18 

A Lawrence Lovejoy 1 

The Legislative Committee elected met at the house of Felix Hathaway, June 18, 
1844, and chose M. M. McCarver speaker of the house. A nine days' session followed, 
when they adjourned till December of the same year. On the sixteenth of December, 
the Legislative Committee met again, this time at the house of J. E. Long in Oregon 
City, when a message was submitted to them from the Executive Committee in which 
an amendment of the organic law was recommended. A seven days' session followed, 
during which an act was passed calling for a committee to frame a constitution. Sev- 
eral acts were framed requiring submission to a popular vote to render them valid, 
among which was a change from the triumvirate to gubernatorial executive, and from 
a legislative committee to a legislature, which was adopted by the people. 


From an address before the Oregon Pioneer Association in 1876, by one of their 
number, Hon. John Minto, it appears that the immigration of 1844 only reached about 
800, including children; that of the 235 able to bear arms who crossed the plains, two 
died on the way, and seventeen turned off to California. The following are the names 
of all, as near as could be ascertained by Mr. Minto and those assisting him, of the 
immigrants to the Pacific Coast that year. 




Buzzard, Nathan 
Burch, Charles 
Boyd, Robert 
Black, William 


fBush, George W. 
fBoggs, Thomas 
|Bowman, William, Sr. 
Bowman, William, Jr. 
Bowman, Ira 
Bunton, Elijah 
Bunton, Joseph 
Bunton, William 
Buich, Charles 
fBennett, Capt. C. 
Bordran, Francis 

Bartrough, Joseph 
Bray, William 
Bayard, Nathan 
Brown, Adam 
Bonnin, Peter 
Crawford, David 
Crawford, Lewis 
Clark, Daniel 
Clark, Dennis 


fCave, James 
Crisman, Joel 
Crisman, Gabriel 
Crisman, William 
fChamberlain, Aaron 
Conner, Patrick 
Crockett, Samuel B. 
Case, William M. 

Clemens, William 



Davenport, James 
Dagon, Dr. 
Durbin, Daniel 
Dupuis, Edward 
Emery, C. 
fEdes, Moses 
Everman, C. 
Eades, John 
Eades, Abr. 
Eades, Henry 
Eades, Clark 
Eades, Solomon 
fEvans, David 
fEvans, N. D. 
Eddy, Robert 

Ellick, John 
fFleming, John 
|Ford, Nathaniel 
fFord, Mark 
Fruit, James 
Fruit, "Doc" 
Fuller, Jenny 
fGilbert, I. N. 
|Goff, David 
Goff, Samuel 
Goff, Marion 
Grant, David 
Gilliam, Mitchell 
fGilliam, Cornelius 
Gilliam, Smith 
Gilliam, William 
Gilliam, Porter 
Gage, William 

1 Elected from Clackamas district. 
* Elected. 
f Deceased. 



lira. A.G.WAUiMQ. 


ofrrt.Af*t>. Q#. 



Gage, Jesse 
Goodwin, W. H. 


fGerrish, James 
Gerrish, John 
Gillahan, Martin 
Gillahan, William 
Gilmore, Charles 
Hinman, Alanson 
Hedges, A. F. 
Hutton, Jacob 
Hill, Fleming 
fHawley, J. C. 
Hoover, Jacob 
Holt, T. 
Harper, James 
Holman, Joseph 
Howard, John 
Hunt, James 
fHumphrey, Norris 
Hammer, Jacob 
Higgins, Herman 
Higgins, William 
Hibler, George 
tlnyard, John 
Inyard, Abr. 
Inyard. Peter 
Johnson, William 
f Johnson, James 
Johnson, David 
Johnson, Daniel 
Johnson, James 
t Jackson, John 
Jenkins, David 
Jenkins, William 
Jenkins, Henry 
fKindred, David 
Kindred, Bait. 
fKindred, John 
Kinney, Daniel 

fLee, Barton 
Lousenaute, John 
Lewis, Charles 
Morgan, William 

fPerkins, Joel, Jr. 
Perkins, John 
|Parker, David 
| Priest, — — 

fMcGruder, Theophilus fParrot, Joseph 

fMcGruder, Ed. 
Minto, John 
McDaniel, Joshua 
McDaniel, Elisha 
fMcDaniel, Mrs. 


Martin, Nehemiah 
McSwain, Samuel 
fMcAllister, James 
Morrison, R. W. 
Moor, Michael 
1 Marshall, James 
fMoreland, Lafe 
Mulky, Westley 
Mulkey, Luke 



Neal, George 
Neal, Attey. 
Neal, Calvin 
Neal, Robert 
Neal, Alex. 
Neal, Peter 
Nelson, George 
Nelson, Cyrus 
Nichols, John 
Nichols, Frank 
f Nichols, Benjamin 
tOwless, Ruel 
Owens, Henry 
Owens, James 
Owens, John 
Owens, John 
fPerkins, Joel, Sr. 

Packwood, S. 
Packwood, T. 
fPayne, R. K. 

fPrather, William 
jPrather, Theodore 
Pettie, Eaben 
Pettie, Amab 
Rowland, J. 

f Shaw, Joshua 

fShaw, A. 0. R. "Sheep" 

Shaw, Wash. 

Shaw, Thomas 

Shaw, B. F. 

Shaw, Capt. William 

Stephens, James 

f Sager, died on the 

way at Green river 
Saxton, Charles 
Snelling, Vincent 
Snelling, Benjamin 

Robinson, E. "Mountain" Teller, Jerry 

f Robinson, T.G. "Fatty" Thornton, Sebrin 

Robinson, Ben 
Rees, Willard H. 
Rice, Parton 
Rice, Mac 
Rice, "Old Man" 



Sears, Franklin 
Shelton, Jackson 
Sebring, William 
Scott, John 
Scott, Levi 
Simmons, M. T. 
Springer, — — 
Smith, J. S. 
Smith, Charles 
TSmith, Peter 
Smith, William 
fSmith, Noyes 
tSmith, Texas 
fSaffron, Henry 
f Sis, Big 
Stewart, James 
Saunders, William 

Thomas, O. S. 
Thorp, John 
Thorp, Alvin 
Thorp, Theodore 
Thorp, Mortimer 
Thorp, Milton 
Trues, Cooper Y. 
Tucker, Benjamin 
Tucker, Long 
fVance, Thomas, died on 

the Platte 
fWaunch, George 
AVilliams, Poe 


f Wright, Harrison 
Woodcock, Richard 
"[Welsh, James 
fWalker, James, Sr. 
Walker, James, Jr. 
Walker, Robert 
Williamson, Henry 
Watt, Joseph 


Werner, Thomas 

The following turned off and went to California : 


Hitchcock, , and son Montgomery, Allen 

Jackson, Montgomery, James 

Martin, Patrick Murphy, Martin, and 

Martin, Dennis five sons 

Martin, William Schallenberger, Moses 

Miller, James Stephens, Captain 

Sullivan, Johri, 

and brother 
Townsend, Dr. 
Scott, 1 colored men 
Robbin j with Col. Ford 

Flomboy, John 
Foster, Joseph 
Greenwood, John 
Greenwood, G. 
Greenwood, Britain 

Mrs. W. M. Case furnishes the following list of ladies who came in Major Thorp's 
company : 
Mrs. D. Johnson 
fMrs. Joshua Shaw 
Mrs. Jacob Hammer 

Mrs. Herman Higgins 

Mrs. Benjamin Tucker Eliza, a mulatto girl 
Miss Amanda Thorp Aunt Hannah, a negress 
fMrs. William M. Case Miss Eliza Snelling 

Mrs. Vincent Snelling 

t Deceased. 1 Discovered gold in California. 



Horace Holden and his wife May arrived in April of this year from the Sand- 
wich Islands. 


The districts, as they had existed prior to 1845, had been sub-divided to make 
two more, called Clatsop and Yamhill; and during this year the name "district" was 
changed to "county." The election of 1845, therefore, occurred when sub-divisions 
were known as districts, while the census that followed was taken by counties. Con- 
ventions were held in most of the districts to place legislative candidates before the 
people, and to send delegates to a general convention at Champoeg to nominate a terri- 
torial ticket for governor, supreme judge, recorder, etc. At the Champoeg convention 
Dr. W. J. Bailey, Osborn Russell, A. Lawrence Lovejoy and George Abernethy were 
all urged by their friends- as candidates for gubernatorial honors. Mr. Lovejoy was 
chosen after several ballots, as the standard-bearer; but the friends of the other can- 
didates were dissatisfied, and bolting the nomination, all the aspirants were before the 
people in the June election. The friends of Messrs. Russell and Abernethy joined 
hands in favor of the latter and elected him governor by a handsome majority, leaving 
the regular nominee with the smallest vote cast for either of the gubernatorial 



Governor. Clackamas 

George Abernethy* 46 

Osborn Russell 22 

William J. Bailey 2 

A. Lawrence Lovejoy 44 

Total vote cast 114 


John E.Long 1 * 65 

Noyes Smith 48 


Phil. Foster 62 

Francis Ermatinger 2 * 51 


J. W. Nesmiths* Ill 

Distriet- Attorney . 

Marcus Ford 4 * 100 


S. W. Moss* , 53 

Jacob Reed 52 


Joseph L. Meek 5 * 59 

A. J. Hembree 42 


. . . 58 

... 54 



. . . 123 

... 70 
... 47 

... 49 

... 50 

... 115 

... 78 

... 39 

... 48 

... 77 
... 43 


. Champoeg. 

Clatsop. Yamhill. r . 


. 22 .... 

51 ... 


7 ... 




. . 1 ... 


. . . . 167 . . 

. 23 ... 


.... 117 

6 ... 


53 . . 

. . 12 ... 


.... 47 

1 ... 


. . . . 118 

. 12 ... 

20 ... 

. . . . 166 . . 

. 17 .... 

64 ... 

. . . . 168 . . 

. 10 ... 


.... 119 

5 ... 

48 . . 


.... Ill . . 

5 ... 

15 ... 


. . 15 ... 

61 .. . 


. 228 

. 130 

. 75 

. 71 

. 504 

. 283 

. 195 

. 197 

. 251 

. 473 

. 409 

. 216 

. 204 

. 267 

. 215 

* Officers elected. 

1. Deceased. Frederick Prigg appointed to fill vacancy June 26, 1846. 

2. Kesigned. John H. Couch appointed to vacancy March 4, 1846. 

3. Succeeded hy Alonzo A. Skinner. 

4. Besigned Feb. 4, 1846, W. G. T'Vault appointed to vacancy; he resigned March 10, 1846, and was succeeded by A. L. 


5. Resigned and was succeeded by H. M. Knighton. 






Clackamas. Tualatin. Champoeg. Clatsop. Yamhill. 


H A J. Lee* 

99 ... 

... 99 

82 ... 

... 82 

W. H. Gray* 

54 ... 

. .. 54 

C. E. Pickett 

50 ... 

... 50 

N. Ford 

23' ... 

... 23 

51 ... 

... 51 


... 39 

D. Hill* 

53 ... 

... 53 

. 28 ... 

... 28 

22 ... 

... 22 

43 ... 

... 43 

J. W. Smith* 

51 ... 

... 51 

C. M Walker . 

47 ... 



... 47 

... 128 

M. G. Foiry* 

... 131 


. .. 68 


... 90 

W. H. Willson 


... 49 

Robert Newell* ... 

... 79 

A. Chamberlain ... 

... 74 

F. X. Matheu 

. . . . 14 

John McClure* 

11 .. 
10 . . 


George Simmons 

... 10 

Jesse Applegate* 

.. 38 


A. Hendrick* . 

.. 34 
.. 31 


S. Smith 

... 31 

J. Richardson 

.. 29 
.. 10 

... 29 

R. Clark 

... 10 

... 190 

No Convention . 

... 283 

Theophilus McGruder was appointed Recorder December 8, 1846. 

Wm. G. T'Vault was appointed Postmaster General of Oregon in December, 1846. 

G. W. Bell was appointed Auditor. 

Governor Abernethy was absent from the country when elected, and did not return 
until after the legislative body had met and submitted a revised organic act to a vote 
of the people. This consequently left the Executive Committee in office until his re- 
turn. The Legislature met on the twenty-fourth of June, 1845, at the residence of 
J. E. Long in Oregon City and organized. The following oath administered to the 
members indicates with peculiar force the uncertain condition, under which it was 
found necessary to operate in governing a people subject to both American and Eng- 
lish laws ; the result of joint occupancy : 

Oath of Office. — " I do solemnly swear that I will support the organic laws of the 
j>rovisional government of Oregon, so far as the said organic laws are consistent with 
my duties as a citizen of the United States, or a subject of Great Britain, and faith- 
fully demean myself in office. So help me God." 

With M. M. McCarver for speaker and J. E. Long for secretary, the Legislature 
held a session until July 5, when it adjourned to the first Tuesday in August. They 

* Officers elected. 

108 OREGON. 

had prepared a memorial to Congress and organic laws for submission to the people, 
and then adjourned to see what the result would be in regard to the latter. The vote 
was taken and resulted as follows : 


Clatsop county : For old law, 0; for amended law, 16. 

Yamhill county : For old law, 12 ; for amended law, 39. 

Tualatin county : For old law, 34 ; for amended law, 42. 

Champoeg county : For old law, 5 ; for amended law, 121. 

Clackamas county : For old law, 1 ; for amended law, 37. 

Total for old law, 22 ; for amended law, 255. 

August 5, the Legislature reassembled at Oregon City under the new law. The 
memorial to Congress prepared by them during the previous session, asking for a ter- 
ritorial form of government, was placed in charge of Dr. White to be presented by 
him at Washington. They had passed some resolutions calculated to impress United 
States government officials with an idea that the bearer was a person of importance in 
Oregon, and the speaker of the House, McCarver, had signed the resolutions as 
speaker, which the body had ordered him not to do. Taken altogether, the Legisla- 
ture concluded they had been imposed upon and tricked, and sent a messenger to over- 
take Dr. White and demand a return of the memorial. The Doctor received the 
summons, but objecting to political decapitation, refused to comply with the order, and 
sent in place of it this rather provoking reply : 

August, 17, 1845. 
" To the Hon. etc. : 

" Gentlemen — Being on my way, and having but a moment to reflect, I have 
been at much of a loss which of your two resolutions most to respect, or which to 
obey ; but at length have become satisfied that the first was taken most soberly, and as 
it answers my purpose best, I pledge myself to adhere strictly to that. Sincerely 
wishing you good luck in legislating, 

" I am, dear sirs, very respectfully yours, 

"E. White." 

The letter with a statement of the transaction, was sent by the Legislature to 
Washington through another source, and reached there just in time to prevent the 
Doctor from getting an important government appointment. 

Among the numerous acts passed by this body was one making wheat a legal ten- 
der at its market value, because of the scarcity of a reliable circulating medium. 
August 20 the adjournment took place, and the second of December following, it re- 
assembled, held a seventeen days' session, during which Polk and Lewis counties 
were created, and closed its labors December 19, 1845. 

The following census returns were taken by Joseph L. Meek, the sheriff, who 
charged the territory $105.35 for so doing. The law did not require him to enumerate 
settlers north of the Columbia or east of the Cascade mountains, and the work was 
completed prior to arrival of emigrants that year. 





Chain poeg 
Clatsop. . . 
Tualatin. . 

Total . 

C cd 



'C CQ 

S3 <L> 
C d- 



of age. 

12 and under 
18 years of age 

18 and under 
45yearsof age 

45 and over. 















































3 l 































The Ashburton treaty signed in 1842, before Dr. Whitman reached Washington 
after his winter journey, across the continent for the purpose of preventing its comple- 
tion, had left the boundary question unsettled. Whitman had urged before the rep- 
resentative men of the nation the importance of retaining as much Pacific Coast 
territory as possible, and had been assured by President Tyler that the question should 
not be settled until time had been given him, in 1843, to demonstrate that Oregon 
could be reached by wagons from the States. The emigration of that year had been 
guided safely through the mountains by him, and the people East had begun to 
awaken to the importance of the issue. In 1844, James K. Polk was elected president 
with the war cry of " 54° 40' or fight," which meant that unless Great Britain con- 
sented to that as the line for division, the United States would resort to the tribunal of 
war, to decide the question. A large emigration crossed the plains in 1845, said to 
number 3,000 souls ; and the question was again opened as to where the north line of 
the United States was to be, west of the Pocky mountains, which was terminated June 
15, 1846, by treaty stipulations naming the forty-ninth parallel. 

In the spring of 1846, a large emigration started for the Pacific Coast numbering 
some 2,000 souls, with 470 teams and 1,050 head of cattle. About half of these 
turned off on the way to California, among whom was the ill-starred Donner party, 
half of whom starved to death in the Sierra Nevada mountains. One hundred and 
fifty of that emigration, with forty-two wagons, undertook to reach the head of Wil- 
lamette valley by way of a newly-explored route, and met with sad disaster, but finally 
reached their destination. In April of this year, the Mexican war had been inaug- 
urated by the commencement of hostilities. In May, John C. Fremont had turned 
back into California from Klamath lake to carry out secret orders from our govern- 

110 OREGON. 

ment, and had encouraged the outbreak of Americans that resulted in capturing 
Sonoma on the fourteenth of June, followed by the Bear Flag war, which merged in 
the general conflict when our j)eople in California learned of the war raging between 
the United States and Mexico. This Bear Flag war caused Commodore Sloat of the 
United States navy to seize Monterey, the capital of California, and declare the 
country to be United States territory. Two days later, Admiral Sir George Seymore 
of the British navy reached Monterey for the purpose of taking possession of the 
country in his sovereign's name, but refrained from doing so because of the prior 
American occupancy. The brief struggle that followed in California gave that fair 
and to the United State?; and thus 1843 ha;l seen the war with Mexico inaugurated, 
California seized by a mere handful of Americans, and the vexed Oregon boundary 
question finally settled. The natural result of all this was to give the people of 
Oregon confidence. Their number was rapidly increasing, and there was no longer a 
question as to whether it was to be British or United States territory. 

With this brief glance at general events in 1846, we give the following election 
returns from the several counties, and then pass on to 1847, the sombre year in Ore- 
gon's history. 



Representative, *Hiram Straight 101 Sheriff, * William Holmes 90 

Representative, *A. L. Lovejoy 90 Treasurer, *J. H. Condy 95 

Representative, *W. G. T. Vault 73 Assessor, *S. W. Moss 24 


Representative, *J. L. Meek 90 Representative, *D. H. Lannsdale 65 

Representative, *Lawrence Hall 83 


Representative, Jesse Looney 199 Representative, A. J. Davis 46 

Representative, * Angus McDonald 116 Representative, W. B. Howell 1 

Representative, *Robert Newell 115 Sheriff, * William Martin 185 

Representative, *A. Chamberlain 112 Sheriff, William Howell 21 

Representative, T. D. Keizer 85 Treasurer, *W. P. Hughes 139 

Representative, YV. H. Wilson 68 Assessor, *J. C. Fruit 15 

Representative, L. N. English 65 Assessor, James Powell 13 

Representative, William J. Bailey 51 


Representative, Governor Simmons* 14 


Representative, *Thomas Jeffreys 67 Sheriff, * J. G-. Baker 98 

Representative, *A. J. Hembree 66 Sheriff, Henry Hill 21 

Representative, C. M. Walker 52 Assessor, * William Newby 58 

Representative, D. Rizley 35 Assessor, Abj. Hendrick 35 

Representative, Sidney Smith 25 


Representative, *J. E. Williams 37 Representative, J. McNary 21 

Representative, *John D. Boon 30 Representative, J. C. Avery 9 


Representative, *Henry Peers 45 Treasurer, *Thomas Lowe 45 

Sheriff, *George Aitken 33 

W. T. Tolmie was chosen representative from Lewis county. 

* Elected. 

19 .. 

.. 77 . 

. 10 . 

. 40 .. 

. 61 . 

. 536 

20 .. 

. . 74 . . 

33 . 

9 .. 

. 2 . 

. 520 

.. 1 . 

1 . 


.. 1 . 

3 . 

.. 3 . 




Name. Clackamas. Tualatin. Champoeg. Clatsop. Yamhill. Polk. Vancouver. Lewis. Total. 

Geo. Abernethy* 134 . . 122 .... 73 

A. L. Lovejoy.. . Ill 65 .... 206 ... 

A. Husted 4 . . .... 5 

Scattering . . 



Representative, *M. Crawford 99 Representative, Hiram Straight 44 

Representative, *J. M. Wair 74 Representative, S. Chase 43 

Representative. *S. S. White 73 Representative, John Fleming 36 

Representative, S. W. Swain 69 Treasurer, *John H. Couch 194 

Representative, H. Johnson 57 Assessor, *E. B. Crawford 190 

Representative, P. G. Stewart 56 


Representative, *R. Wilcox 128 Representative, *David Hill 102 

Representative, *J. L. Meek 123 


Representative, *W. H. Rees 252 Representative, W. H. Burns 20 

Representative, *A. Chamberlain 246 Treasurer, *Daniel Waldo 207 

Representative, *Robert Newell 240 Treasurer, W. P. Hughes 40 

Representative, * Anderson Cox 229 Assessor, *S. C. Morris 181 

Representative, *W. H. Rector 179 Assessor, *J. B. McClain 47 

Representative. J. S. Smith 62 Justice, *Morgan Keys 250 

Representative, Peterson 29 Justice, J. M. Garrison 16 


Representative, *L. A. Rice 140 Representative, P. Armstrong 2 

Representaiive, *Lewis Rogers 97 Treasurer, *A. Harvey 85 

Representative, *A. J. Hembree 85 Assessor, S. Staggs 40 

Representative, A. D. Smith 43 Assessor, I. B. Rodgers . . . . , 40 

Representative, C. B. Henely 25 Assessor, C. Ish 21 

Representative, James Davidson 24 Assessor, H. Hill 7 


Representative, *J. W. Nesmith 38 Sheriff, *F. Nichols 31 

Representative, *N. A. Ford 32 Sheriff, J. Kendall 3 

Representative, *W. St. Clare 23 Treasurer, *N. Ford 8 

Representative, J. D. Boon . . . . : 21 Assessor, *T. Liggett 3 

Representative, P. O'Riely 3 


Representative, *Henry Peers . . 39 Treasurer, *A. L. Lewis 38 

Representative, * William Ryan 39 Clerk, *R. Covington 36 


Representative, *S. Plamonden 67 Assessor, *M. Brock 40 

Sheriff, *A. M. Roe -. 35 Assessor, A. J. Moore 29 

Treasurer, *Isadore Bemier 35 

J. Robinson was chosen representative from Clatsop county. 

* Elected. 

112 OREGON. 


In 1847, Oregon included what is now Washington, Idaho and Montana Terri- 
tories; and it was all, besides a large proportion of British Columbia, placed by the 
Pope, for spiritual purposes, in charge of Rev. F. N. Blanchet; and its sub-divisions 
were as follows: — 

Oregon City and Nesqually in charge of Father F. N. A. Blanchet. 
Vancouver's Island, Princess Charlotte and New Caledonia in charge of Father 
Modest Demers. 

Colville, Fort Hall and Walla Walla in charge of Father A. M. Blanchet. 
The total number of clergymen employed was twenty-six, among whom were the 
following : Revs. Michael Accolti, Peter J. De Smet, Peter De Vos, Andrian Hoecken, 
Joseph Joset, Gregory Mengarini, John Nobili, Nicholas Point, Anthony Ravalli 
Aloysius A^ercruysse, Anthony Sandlois, John Baptist Bolduc. 

Churches in Willamette Valley. — St. Paul's Cathedral, St. Mary's at the 
Convent, St. Francis Xaverius' Chapel, New Church in the prairie, and St. John's in 
Oregon City. 

Churches in what now is Western Washington. — At Fort Vancouver one 
church, at Cowlitz one church, and at Whitby one church. 

Churches in New Caledonia. — At Stewarts' Lake one, at Fort Alexandria one, 
at the Rapids one, and at Upper Lake one. 

Other Churches. — St. Mary's among the Flat Heads, Sacred Heart at Coeur 
d'Alene, St. Ignatius at Pend-d'Oreille bay, and Chapel of St. Paul near Colville. 

Stations where Chapels were to be Erected. — St. Francis Borgia among 
Upper Kalispels, St. Francis Regis in Colville Valley, St. Peter's at Great Lake of the 
Columbia, Assumption among Flat-bow Indians, and Holy Heart of Mary among the 

The Institutions of Learning were a school of St. Marys among the Flat- 
Heads, a college of St. Pauls in Willamette, and an academy for girls in Willamette. 
To this, add 6,000 Indian converts to the Catholic faith and 1,500 Catholic Cana- 
dian settlers, and the result is given of the efforts of the Catholic church in Oregon, 
up to 1847, according to their own recorded statement. 

The most successful missionaries among the aborigines of America, north or 
south, have been the Catholics. The extent of their operations and success of their 
efforts in this field, are but partially known to either the Protestant or Catholic world; 
and the secret of their success lies in the zeal and judgment with which their religion 
is impressed upon the uncultivated understanding by ceremonies and symbols. All 
Indians believe in immortality, in the power and influence of both good- and evil 
spirits upon the family of man. The strongest hold that can be obtained upon that 
race is to bind them with cords of belief in, and fear of, an unseen power, let that 
power be what it may. Their superstitions lead them to attribute their good or ill 
fortune largely to supernatural influences, and to enter the door to their understanding 
of spiritual matters, it is necessary to keep that door ajar for such purpose. Unless 
the white man's Manitou is a greater medicine than the Indian's, they want none of 
him. Unless he can save them more effectually now and hereafter than the one they 

r*^^^^'^'" ^«! 




OEEGON. 113 

have always worshiped, they would prefer their own God to the white man's. They 
believe that the Indian's Deity helps them to slay their enemies, directs the fish to 
their snares and the wild game to their hunting grounds. If he fails so to do, it is 
because he is angry with them and must be propitiated. A God that leaves an Indian 
hungry and a scalp on the head of his offending enemy, would be a Divinity void to 
them of interest or attraction. The Catholic missionary teaches the credulous Indian 
that the white man's God not only takes heed of the hair that falls from the head of 
his chosen, but provides for him; and, being the God, not only of peace, but of battle, 
makes his arms invincible in waging just war against his enemies. No stronger in- 
ducement can be given to a savage for adopting any religious faith than that of being 
able through such adoption, first, to protect himself against his foes ; second, to fill his 
stomach ; and third, to go after death to the happy hunting grounds, where there are 
no enemies and no fasting. The Catholic missionary not only understands all this 
and teaches as stated, but he deals out to them religion in homeopathic doses. Through 
the sense of sight, the priest makes an impression upon the brain by ceremonies and 
the simple attractive symbols of his faith. He follows more closely than Protes- 
tant in the line of what the Indian expects to see as typical of a mysterious some- 
thing unseen. It being nearer in the line of his conception and of what he has been 
accustomed to, he more readily takes to it, believes in and adopts it, because it takes a 
firm hold of his strongly developed superstitious nature. Using these levers, the mis- 
sionary moves the Indian by tribes into the Catholic church. After gaining an 
ascendency the priest makes a judicious use of his influence to eradicate the evil 
practices of his neophytes, without destroying his chance for accomplishing any 
good by asking too great a change too soon. Because of all these facts, the Catholics 
are more successful than the Protestants with all heathen peoples; and for these rea- 
sons they had become so strong, while the Protestant influence had been so materially 
reduced, among the aborigines on this coast in 1847. 


In 1847, it was determined by the Catholic clergy to make an effort to extend 
their faith and influence by conversion among the tribes in the vicinity of Walla 
Walla. It was a move on the last line of Protestant trenches among the Indians, and 
was undoubtedly made with the purpose of terminating the religious struggle by 
securing a removal of that influence from among those tribes. In furtherance of this 
programme, Bishop A. M. A. Blanchet, with three associate priests, reached Fort 
Walla Walla September 5, 1847. Twenty days later, Dr. Whitman reached that 
place on his way home from the Dalles, where he had left his nephew P. B. Whitman 
in charge, having purchased that mission property, intending to leave Wailatpu and 
move down there with his family in the coming spring. An interview of a very un- 
friendly nature, occurred between the Doctor and priests at this time. Later in the 
season, the Doctor's professional services were required at the fort to attend Thomas 
McKay and Mrs. Maxwell, and he often met the priests during those visits. At one 
of them he asked Mr. McKay to make his home at the mission for the winter, stating 
that his presence was desired on account of a feeling of hostility that was found to 

114 OREGON. 

exist among the Cay use tribe towards him. In fact, Dr. Whitman had been repeatedly- 
warned that Indians would kill him unless he left Wailatpu; and it was because of 
such danger that he contemplated moving in the spring. As far back as 1845, a Del- 
aware Indian, called Tom Hill, had been living with the Nez Perce tribe. He had 
told them how American missionaries had visited his people, first to teach re- 
ligion, and then the Americans had taken their lands ; and he warned them to drive 
Rev. Spalding away, unless they would invite a similar misfortune. This Indian 
visited Whitman's mission, and repeated to the Cayuses his story of the ruin to his 
tribe that had followed the advent of American missionaries to live among them. In 
the latter part of 1847, another Indian came among the Cayuses, who had been taken 
from west of the Cascades to the States, when a boy, where he grew to manhood 
among the Americans. His name was Joe Lewis, and he bent all the powers of his 
subtle nature to the task of creating hatred of the missionaries and Americans among 
the Indians at Wailatpu. Add to this the influence, in a general way, of an ad- 
verse and unfriendly religion personally urged by able and zealous advocates among 
that tribe, and take into consideration that the presence of priests was followed by an 
epidemic brought by American emigrants, which was sweeping Cayuses by scores 
into the grave, and circumstances are presented of a nature that forces one to 
wonder, why that Protestant missionary delayed leaving the fatal j)lace where 
everything had been transformed into danger signals. It would seem that he should 
have known that the dysentery and measeles brought by his countrymen, which were 
converting Indian villages into Indian burying grounds, would incite those already 
hostile, add recruits to their number, and render those heretofore disposed to be 
friendly, doubtful as to whether such friendship was not a calamity to their people. All 
of this he knew, except the part Joe Lewis was acting, and the fact that a con- 
spiracy had actually been entered upon to take the lives of all Americans at his mis- 
sion, and he even suspected this. Notwithstanding all, he still had faith in being 
able to ward off danger until the coming spring would release him from hostile 
surroundings, and admit of his withdrawal from the field in accordance with his pre- 
arranged plans. 1 

Col. William Craig, an American mountaineer and trapper, not a Catholic, never 
an employe of the Hudson's Bay Company, a reliable man, and without an apparent 
reason for misstating facts, was among the Nez Perce Indians when news reached them 

1 " Nez Peeces Agency, I. T., Sept. 26, 1882. 

" Fkank T. Gilbebt, Esq., — Dear Sir: Dr. Marcus Whitman (my uncle) and myself left his Mission Station at Waiilatpa, 
for the Willamette about the first of August, 1847. He purchased the Dalles Static n while in Wallamette, from the Methodist 
Superintendent of Missions. 

" On returning to the Dalles, he told me ' to remain in charge of the Dalles property; and that in the spring, 1848, he would 
move, down to the Dalles and he would hold H section claim, and myself the other half.' I remained, he went up to Waiilatpa. He 
left Dalles for Waiilatpa ou the 7th of Sept, 1847; was murdered on the 27th of Nov. following. On the 16th Dec I left with 
Alanson Hinman and others, for Oregon City, arriving January first. 1848. lie often expressed to me fear from Cayuses 'of 
Iris own life; but thought no one else would be harmed.' 

" I never heard him say what he intended to do with the Waiilatpa Station; but that he intended to move to the Dalles in the 
spring of 1848. and take all the Stock was a settled fact. For he promised to bring my horses and cattle from Waiilatpa to th e 
Dalles with Ms. 

" I just this morning received yours of the 21st, and hope that I have answered your questions satisfactionly. I would like you 
to write to a man in Oregon, and ask such questions as you have of me. and others that may come to your mind. He was at 
Waiilatpa when the massacre took place, and was very intimate with the Dr. 
"Address Josiah Osborne, Lebanon, Linn Co., Oregon. 

" I remain Yours, etc., Respectfully, 


OREGON. 115 

of the Whitman massacre. They assembled in large numbers and demanded the 
cause of the slaughter, and the following is Colonel Craig's statement over his signa- 
ture of what the Cay use messenger gave as the reason why his people had committed 

the deed: 

" On the eighth, after the massacre, being Monday, a great many Indians met at Mr. Spald- 
ing's before Mr. S. had returned ; a messenger came there from the Cayuses, and the Indians, 
when assembled, required him to state all he knew about the matter, and to state the truth. I was 
present ; and he said, in substance, that all the chiefs were concerned, except Young Chip/ and 
Five Crows, who knew nothing of it; that the cause of the murder was that Dr. Whitman and 
Spalding were poisoning the Indians. They asked him, are you sure that they were poisoning the 
Indians? He said yes. How do you know it? Jos. Lewis said so? What did he say? Jos. 
Lewis said that Dr. Whitman and Mr. Spalding had been writing for two years to their friends in 
the East, where Jos. Lewis lived, to send them poison to kill off the Cayuses and the Nez Perces; 
and they had sent them some that was not good, and they wrote for more that would kill them oft 
quick, and that the medicine had come this summer. Jos. Lewis said he was lying on the 
settee in Dr. Whitman's room, and he heard a conversation between Dr. Whitman, Mrs. Whitman, 
and Mr. Spalding, in which Mr. Spalding asked the Doctor why he did not kill the Indians off 
faster? 'Oh,' said the Doctor, 'they are dying fast enough; the young ones will die off this 
winter, and the old ones next spring.' Mrs. Whitman said that our friends will be on, and want 
to settle in this country. A talk then took place between Dr. Whitman and Mr. Spalding, in 
which they said, how easy we will live when the Indians are all killed off; such an Indian has so 
many horses, and such an Indian has so many spotted horses, and our boys will drive them up, 
and we will give them to our friends. One of them said that man will hear us, alluding to 
Lewis. Oh, no, said another, he cannot hear, he is sleeping sound. They talked rather low, but 
Jos. Lewis said he could hear all that passed. This Indian messenger stated that Jos. Lewis 
had made this statement in a council of the Cayuses on the Saturday night previous to the murder, 
and that Jos. Lewis said he had heard this conversation between Dr. Whitman and the others on 
the Wednesday before the murder. Jos. Lewis, the messenger said, told the Cayuses in the 
council that unless they (the Indians) killed Dr. Whitman and Mr. Spalding quick, they would all 
die. The messenger went on to ?ay himself, that one hundred and ninety-seven Indians had died 
since the immigration commenced passing that summer. He said that there were six buried on 
Monday morning, and among the rest his own wife ; he said he knew they were poisoned. 

" In the year 1837, the smallpox was spread among the Blackfeet Indians by one Beckwith, 
who brought the matter for that purpose. Beckwith took it himself, and a clerk at one of the trad- 
ing posts, Fort Muriah, on one branch of the Missouri river, helped to spread it among the Black- 
feet Indians for the purpose of killing them off. A knowledge of this fact is common among the 
Nez Ferces, and, I think among the Cayuses. 

" (Signed.) William Craig. 

" July 11, 1848." 

This statement is given to show what means were used to inflame the Indian mind 
and arouse their anger sufficiently to make them commit the deed, and the only won- 
der is that it required so strong a case. Whatever influence lay back in the shadow, if 
any, to cause Joe Lewis to tell those lies, may never be fully known, but there remains 
no reasonable doubt of the fact that it was his falsehoods in regard to the poisoning 
which urged the Cayuses forward and caused their perpetration of that horrible mas- 
sacre. Those Indians have, from that time until the present, with rare and question- 
able exceptions claimed such only to have been the cause. Had any other direct rea- 
son been made apparent its existence would have been seized by them, made promi- 
nent and maintained as an additional excuse for their act, and would not have been 
kept in obscurity so long. 

116 OREGON. 

The following account of that tragedy is from the pen of Rev. H. H. Spalding, 
who spent years of time collecting the minutiae of detail in regard to it. The view of 
AVhitman's mission accompanying this work will serve the reader in obtaining a more 
correct understanding of the locality than language can give. 

" On arriving at home Monday morning on that fatal twenty-ninth, the Doctor and his wife 
were seen in tears and much agitated. The Doctor sent for Findley (a Hudson's Bay half-breed 
with a Cayuse wife, who lived in a lodge about a hundred yards distant). ' Findley, I understand 
the Indians are to kill me and Mrs. Spalding; do you know?' 'I should know. Doctor; you have 
nothing to fear; there is no danger.' Oh, the wretch that could thus throw them off their guard! 
The savages were at that moment in counsel in his lodge. Early in the morning an Indian came 
in for a coffin and winding sheet and the Doctor to assist in burying a child. We always furnished 
these, and assisted in burying the dead if possible. On returning from the grave, the Doctor was 
much excited, and said to his wife: ' What does this mean: only one Indian at the grave, while 
multitudes are collecting on foot and on horse ?' But a beef had been brought in, shot down and 
was being dressed, and was thought to have been the cause. 

" It is desirable to describe the premises, and the number of families stopping at the station to 
winter. The Doctor's adobe dwelling house stood on the north bank of Walla Walla river, one- 
half mile above the mouth of Pasha or Mill creek, facing the west, well finished, and furnished with 
a good library and a large cabinet of choice specimens. Connected with the north end was a large 
Indian room, and an ell extending from the east seventy feet, consisting of kitchen, sleeping- room, 
cook-room, school-room and church. One hundred yards east stood a large adobe building. At a 
point forming a triangle with the above line, stood the mill, granary and shops. A saw-mill and 
dwelling-house 18 miles up Mill creek; Fort Colville 200 miles north, the mission station of Bev. 
Messrs. Eells and Walker among the Spokane and Flathead Indians, 140 miles north; our mission 
at the Dalles, 175 miles west; my own station among the Nez Perces on Clearwater river, at the 
mouth of the Lapwai, 110 miles east. 

"There were connected with or stopping at the Wailatpu or Whitman station, at the time of 
the massacre, seventy-two souls, mostly American emigrants on their way from the States to the 
settlements in the Willamette valley, compelled to stop to winter on account of sickness, give-out 
teams or the lateness of the season — distributed as follows: At the saw-mill there were living Mr. 
and Mrs. Young, from Missouri, three grown sons; Mr. Smith and wife, Illinois, five children, old- 
est child a daughter sixteen years of age. In the blacksmith shop, Mr. Canfield and wife of Iowa, 
five children, oldest child a daughter sixteen years of age. In the large building, Mr. Kimball and 
wife of Indiana, five children, oldest a daughter of sixteen; Mr. Hall and wife of Illinois, five 
children, oldest a daughter of ten; Mr. Saunders and wife of Iowa, five children, oldest a daughter 
of fourteen; Mrs. Hays and child; Mr. Marsh and daughter, and Mr. Gill, a tailor. In the Indian 
room, Mr. Osborne and wife of Oregon with three children all sick, Mrs. Osborne dangerously. 
The Doctor's family at the time consisted of twenty-two persons, viz: himself and wife; Mr. Bogers, 
a missionary; seven adopted children of one family by the name of Sager, whose parents had died 
on the plains in 1844; three adopted half-breed children, one a daughter of the mountaineer Brid- 
ger, and one a daughter of J. L. Meek, and a half-breed Spanish boy whose mother had cast him 
into a pit to perish in revenge for having been deserted by her Spanish husband; Miss Bewley, a 
pious young lady of twenty-three, sick up-stairs; her brother and Mr. Sails both sick in the sleeping- 
room; Mr. Hoffman of New York; J. Stanfield a Canadian; Joe Lewis, a Catholc half-breed from 
Maine; two half-breed boys, of Hudson's Bay Company, in the school; and my own daughter Eliza, 
ten years of age. 

" Mr. Marsh was running the mill; Mr. Hall was lying on the floor in the cook room; Mr. 
Saunders teaching the school which was just taken up for the afternoon; Messrs. Hoffman, Kim- 
ball and Canfield were dressing the beef between the mill and blacksmith shop; Mr. Bogers upon 
the river bank; John, oldest of the Sager family, a stout young man of seventeen, and the Bridger 
girl, lay in the kitchen sick; the Doctor, his wife, Catherine Sager, thirteen years old, in the sitting 
room with three very sick children. The Indians with weapons concealed under their blankets, 
were ready at all these points, waiting a signal from Joe Lewis, who stood at the south door watch, 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1882, by Frank T. Gilbert, ill the office of 
the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 

OKEGON. 117 

ing both the Doctor and those without. Mrs. Osborne, for the first time in six weeks, had just 
stepped upon the floor, and stood talking with Mrs. Whitman near the sick children. An Indian 
opened the kitchen door and called to the Doctor for medicine. The Doctor went in and sat down 
by the Indian who kept his attention, while Tamahos stepped behind the Doctor, drew a pipe-toma- 
hawk from under his blanket and buried it in the Doctor's head. He fell partly forward, and a 
second blow in the back of the head brought him to the floor. The Indian had to put his foot up- 
on the Doctor's head to tear the tomahawk out, and said: 'I have killed my father.' With the first 
blow upon the Doctor's head, the terrible work commenced at all points at the same time. John 
Sager lying sick in the same room, made some defense, but was shot in several places and his 
throat cut, and the body thrown partly across Dr. Whitman. Mrs. Osborne says, immediately after 
the Doctor went into the kitchen an Indian opened the door, spoke in native to Mrs. Whitman who 
had only time to raise her hands and exclaim, ' Oh', my God!' when the guns fired, and the crash 
of weapons and the yells commenced. We can describe the scene at but one point at once. Four 
Indians stood around Mr. Gill, the tailor, in the large house, weapons concealed, awaiting the sig- 
nal. Three shots were fired at him, but one took effect, breaking the back. The sufferer lingered in 
great agony, begging the women to shoot him in the head, and expired about twelve o'clock. The 
women naturally ran to the Doctor's house, meeting savages, naked, painted, yelling, laughing, 
frantic, hewing, cutting down their victims everywhere. As they came into the kitchen, Mrs. W. 
was attempting to move her husband. John was gasping. The Bridger girl was covered with 
blood and seemed dead, but it was the blood from Dr. Whitman. Next day she was found alive. 
Sails and Bewley, who lay sick in next door, were groaning terribly, but next day were found un- 
wounded. Mrs. Hall, who stopped to assist Mrs. Whitman, says the Doctor's ribs were mashed. 
They dragged him into the sitting room and applied a bag of hot ashes to stop the blood. Mrs. 
W., kneeling over her gasping husband, said, ' Doctor, my dear, do you know me ?' The dying 
missionary was to speak no more; he only moved his lips. The dear wife saw her terrible fate. She 
raised herself and exclaimed, ' Oh, God, thy will be done! I am left a widow. Oh, may my parents 
never know this!' The Indians seemed to have left the house. The terrible scene without — the 
roar of guns, the crash of war clubs and tomahawks, the groans of the dying, the screams of 
women, the howling of dogs, the yells of the savage demons, naked, painted with black and white, 
naturally attracted the notice of Mrs. Whitman, and she stepped to a south window, but instantly 
raised her hands and exclaimed, ' Joe, is this you doing all this?' and the glass rattled. She fell, 
the bullet having passed through her right breast. She lay some time apparently dead, when she 
revived so as to speak; and her first words, before she raised her head, her heart's blood fast run- 
ning away and mingling with the blood of her gasping husband and two others who had been 
brought in wounded, were a prayer: ' Oh, my Saviour take care of my children, now to be left a 
second time orphans and among Indians.' 

" Joe Lewis was undoubtedly the one who shot Mrs. Whitman, and who took the lead in this 
bloody tragedy; and but for him, his teasing the Indians, and his false representations, the Indians 
never would have killed their best friends and butchered the Americans. He told the writer he was 
born in Canada and educated in Maine. He was a good scholar and good mechanic, had the ap- 
pearance of an Eastern halfbreed, spoke English as his native tongue, and was a devoted Catholic, 
wearing his cross and counting his beads often. The emigrants of that year saw him first at Fort 
Hall, and Mrs. Lee testifies that he was several times heard to say, ' There will be a change in that 
country (Walla Walla) when the Fathers get down.' He told the Indians that he was a Chinook; 
that the Americans had stolen him when a child. He had grown up in America; knew the Amer- 
icans hated the Indians, and intended to exterminate them; would send missionaries first, and then 
the multitude would come and take the country. They had better kill Dr. Whitman and the mis- 
sionaries, and what Americans there were; they could do it and he would help them. They would 
receive plenty of ammunition from below. After the butchery he was protected as never an Amer- 
ican was; went off with most of the money and valuables plundered from the helpless widows and 
orphans, and has been seen at the northeast stations. 

" Mr. Canfield, one of the three dressing the beef, who escaped, finally reached my station in 
the country of the Nez Perce Indians, says. ' We saw multitudes of Indians collecting on foot and 
horse, but thought it was on account of the beef. The first notice was a shock like terrific peals of 

118 OREGON. 

thunder, accompanied by an unearthly yell of the savages. I sprang up, but saw ourselves per- 
fectly enveloped by naked Indians, whose guns seemed blazing in our faces. I turned twice before 
I saw an opening; saw Mr. Kimball fall; sprang for the opening, and through the thick smoke, 
dashing the guns aside with my hands. At a little distance I looked back and saw an Indian 
taking aim at me, and afterwards found that a ball had entered my back and passsed around be- 
tween the skin and ribs, where it remains. I passed my family in the shop, and catching up a 
child, ran into the large building, up stairs, and into the garret, where I looked down from the 
window upon the whole scene. Saw naked savages, painted black and white, yelling and leaping 
like flying demons, caps of eagle feathers streaming, guns roaring, tomahawks, war-clubs and 
knives brandishing over the heads of their victims, white women running and screaming, and the 
Indian women singing and dancing. Saw Kimball run around the north end of the Doctor's house 
covered with blood and one arm swinging, pursued by Indians. Saw Hoffman fall several times, 
but would rise amid the flying tomahawks, till he was backed up in the corner of the Doctor's 
house when two Indians came up on horses with long-handled tomahawks, over reached, cut him 
down, and he rose no more. Saw some Indians apparently trying to protect our women and chil- 
dren. Saw Mr. Rogers run into the house from the river with one arm swinging and pursued by 
four Indians; also saw Mrs. Saunders, led by two Indians, go into Findley's lodge Saw Joe 
Lewis and a whole crowd of Indians and Indian women driving our school children from the 
school door into the kitchen, with tomahawks, guns and knives brandishing over their little heads 
and in their faces. My heart fainted for them, but I could do nothing. Paid Joe Stanfield a watch 
to bring me a horse to a given point of brush after dark. Went there and waited all night, but no 
horse came.' 

" Four Indians attacked Mr. Hall, lying on the floor in the cook-room; the first gun missed 
fire, when Mr. Hall wrenched the gun from the Indian, and they ran, giving him time to reach the 
brush where he lay till dark, and that night found his way to Fort Walla Walla, but was turned 
out, put over the Columbia river, and has never been heard from since. It is said he was immedi- 
ately killed by the Indians. There were in the fort besides the gentleman in charge, some twenty 
white men including some ten Catholic priests who had arrived in the country about six weeks be- 
fore, under the immediate superintendency of Bishop Blanchette and Vicar General Brouilette, a 
part via Cape Horn and a part by the overland route. ***** 

" As the roar and yells commenced, Mr. Saunders, the teacher, naturally opened the school-room 
door when three Indians came up the steps and seized him. His daughter Helen and my daughter 
Eliza ran to the window. Helen screamed, ' They are killing my father.' Eliza gazed a few minutes 
on the terrible scene. She saw Mr. Saunders fall and rise several times amid the tomahawks and 
knives, trying to reach his horse, till two Indians came up on horses, and with long-handled toma- 
hawks hewed him down. Next day, in going among the dead, she found his head split open, a 
part lying at a distance; and with her tender hands the dear child put it in its place, and assisted 
in sewing sheets around his and the other bodies. She found Hoffman split open in the back and his 
heart and lungs taken out; she replaced them and sewed a sheet around him. His afflicted sister 
in Elmira, N. T., writes me: 'I desire above all things to clasp that dear child to my bosom before 
I die, for her kindness to my fallen brother whom I am to see no more.' Eliza saw multitudes or 
Indian women and children dancing, and naked men swinging their hatchets dripping with blood. 

"In the sitting-room there were now four persons bleeding, Doctor and Mrs. Whitman, Kim- 
ball and Rogers; Sager was in the kitchen. After the women came in they fastened the doors and 
took the sick children and Mrs. Whitman up stairs. At the commencement the children of the 
school hid themselves in the loft over the school-room. Towards night Findley, Joe Lewis and 
several Indians came in and called to the children to come down. Findley selected the two Man- 
son (Hudson Bay) boys, and the Doctor's Spanish boy to take to Walla Walla to save their lives, 
and said the others were to be killed by the Indian women. My Eliza caught Findley by the 
clothes: ' Oh, Nicholas, save me, do!' He pushed her away, and Lewis and the Indians huddled 
them down into the kitchen. As they were driven into the kitchen to be shot, they passed over 
the body of John. His brother Francis, fifteen years old, stooped down, took the woolen scarf 
from the gory throat of his dying brother and spoke to him. John gasped and immediately ex- 
pired. Francis said to his sister Matilda, ' I shall go next,' and was never heard to speak again. 

OREGON. 119 

The children were huddled in a corner, where a scene that beggars description commenced. The 
large room filled up with Indian women and naked, painted men, yelling, dancing, scraping up 
the blood that was deep upon the floor, and flirting it, painting their guns and brandishing their 
bloody tomahawks over the heads of those helpless little lambs, screaming, ' Shall we shoot ? Shall we 
shoot?' Eliza, who could understand the language, says: 'I covered my eyes with my apron, that 
I might not see the bloody tomahawk strike that was just over my head.'' Telankaikt. the head 
chief (who was hung at Oregon City), stood in the door to give the order. In this fearful situation 
these dear children were held for an hour. * * * Ups and Moolpod, the Doc- 

tor's Indian herdsmen crawled in, threw their robes around the children, and huddled them out of 
the north door into the corner. But here the Indians, who seemed to have finished up the bloody 
work elsewhere, soon collected in great numbers, arranging themselves three or four deep the 
whole length of the seventy-foot ell, with their guns drawn and pointing to the same door. This 
would bring the children, now huddled in the corner, in range. About this time Canfield saw Joe 
Lewis at the head of a band of Indians break in the south door of the Doctor's house with his gun. 
They came into the sitting-room, broke down the stair door, and were coming up stairs. The wo- 
men collected around Mrs. Whitman, who lay bleeding. ' The Indians are coming; we are to die; 
but are not prepared. What shall we do?' The gasping saint, with her dying breath, replied 
earnestly and calmly, ' Go to Jesus and ask him, and he will save you.' Thus the faithful mis- 
sionary spent her last breath, who entered the church at the early age of thirteen. Some one 
said: ' Put that old gun-barrel over the stairway to frighten them.' Mrs. Whitman replied: ' Let 
all prepare to die.' Mr. Rogers went to the head of the stairs, spoke to Tomsueky, who said: ' The 
young men have done this; they will burn the house to-night; you had better all come down and 
go over tD the big house where we will take care of you.' Oh, the demon that could thus throw 
them off their guard at the last moment. Eliza just out among the children, could bear all this, 
and knew now what the Indians arranged along the house with their guns drawn, were waiting for. 
Eearful moments for the dear child, as she heard the steps down stairs and approaching the fatal 
door, but of course could give no warning. Mr. Kimball, Catherine, Elizabeth, and the sick chil- 
dren remained in the chamber. Mr. Rogers, Mrs. Whitman and Miss Bewley came down. The 
Doctor's face had been terribly cut after Joe came in, but he was yet breathing slowly. Mrs. 
Whitman fainted. Supposing she was to be saved, she had told them to get some clothing from 
the bed-room. They laid her upon a settee, and Joe and Mr. Rogers took the settee, passed into 
the kitchen Miss Bewley ahead, over the body of John, out of the kitchen door, and about the 
length of the settee, when Mr. Rogers saw his doom, and both dropped the settee. Mr. Rogers 
had only time to raise his hands and exclaim, ' My God, have mercy!' when the guns fired. An 
Indian seized Francis by the hair of the head while Lewis jerked one of his pistols from his belt, 
put the muzzle to Francis' neck and fired, blowing the whole charge into the boy's throat. Mr. 
Rogers fell upon his face; Mrs. Whitman, Mr. Rogers and Francis were all three shot in several 
places, but not killed. The balls flew all about the children, riddling their clothes. One passed 
through Miss Bewley's clothes and burned her fingers, but none of them were hit. The smoke, 
blood and brains flew over them, as they stood trembling and silent with terror. Several leaked 
savages gathered around Miss Bewley with tomahawks drawn over her head, but when she stopped 
screaming they led her away to the large house. 

" And now commenced a scene beyond the reach of the pen, and which must convince any 
unprejudiced mind that there is a hell in the human heart, if nowhere else. The poor, helpless 
children were compelled to witness it. The Indian women and children were particularly active — 
yelling, dancing and singing the scalp-dance. Mrs. Whitman was thrown violently from the settee 
into the mud. They tried to ride their horses over the bodies, but the horses refused. They 
slashed the faces of their dying victims with their whips, and as they would writhe and groan it 
only increased the glee of the Indian women and children. They leaped and screamed for joy, 
throwing handfuls of blood around, and drinking down the dying agonies of their victims as a 
precious draught. * * * The face of the sun had withdrawn from the sight, 

and the shades of night were settling upon the once beautiful valley of the Walla Walla, for ages 
unknown, the home and burying-place of the red man, but now to pass into the hands of another 
race by this covenant of the missionaries' blood. The children were led over to the large house. 

120 OREGON. 

The yells of the savages died away. The horrible scene was changed from the dead and dying to 
the living" and helpless, and became more terrific because death could not come to the relief of the 
sufferers. Helpless women and daughters, with their husbands and fathers dead or dying in sight, 
young girls so young the knife had to be used, subjected to the brutalities of the naked, painted 
demons, four or five at a time glutting their hell-born passions upon one of these most to be pitied 
of our fellow mortals. And all this, which ought to call forth the undying sympathies of every 
true American, is made more intolerable to the surviving sufferers by being made, the last few 
years, the subject of scoffs and jeers, or cold rebuffs by those receiving extensive patronage from 
Government and the public. 

"The three sufferers yet breathing continued to groan on till in the night, as heard by Mr. 
Osborne and family, who lay concealed under the floor near by. The voice of Francis ceased first, 
then Mrs. Whitman, and last Mr. Rogers was heard to say, ' Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly,' and 
was heard no more. Thus fell at her post the devoted Mrs. Whitman, daughter of Judge Prentiss, 
of Prattsburgh, N. T., alone under the open heavens, no mother's hand or husband's voice to 
soothe her last moments — the cold earth her dying pillow, her own blood her winding-sheet. The 
companion of my youth, we were members of the same school, of the same church, of the same 
hazardous journey, of the same mission. Rest, sweet dust, till Jesus shall gather up the scattered 
members. *********** 

"And thus fell not a ' St. Bernard,' nor yet an Oberlin, but Whitman, Oregon's Whitman, 
the yearly emigrants' own Whitman, emphatically a patriot without guile, a Christian whose faith 
was measured by his works: who counted not his life dear unto him if he might bat do good to his 
fellow beings, white or red; whose forethought, whose hazards, labors and sufferings, self -devised, 
unsolicited, unrewarded, to reach Washington through the snows of New Mexico, did more for 
Oregon and this coast than the labors of any other man. Go, dear brother, your great work is 
done and well done. Already is fulfilled your remarkable words on the banks of the Umatilla that 
our last night: ' My death may do as much good to Oregon as my life can.' 

"The almost miraculous escape of Mr. Osborne, wife and family, their cruel reception at Fort 
Walla Walla, as given by himself. Mr. Osborne is a worthy citizen of Linn county, 
Oregon, and a devoted member of the church of t Christ. Mrs. Osborne, after enduring unceasing 
sufferings for fifteen years from successive ulcer sores around the shoulder, occasioned by her chills 
and terrific sufferings, has regained her health thiough a kind Providence. Mr. Osborne says: 'As 
the guns fired and the yells commenced I leaned my head upon the bed and committed myself and 
family to my Maker. My wife removed the loose floor." I dropped under the floor with 
my sick family iuj their night clothes, taking only two woolen sheets, a piece of bread and 
some cold mush, and pulled the floor over us. In five minutes the room was full of Indians, but 
they did not discover us. The roar of guns, the yell of the savages and the crash of the clubs and 
the knives and the groans of the dying continued till dark. We distinctly heard the dying groans 
of Mrs. Whitman, Mr. Rogers arid Francis, till they died away one after the other. We heard 
the last words of Mr. Rogers in a slow voice calling, ' Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.' Soon 
after this I removed the floor and we went out. We saw the white face of Francis by the 
door. It was warm as we laid our hand upon it, but he was dead. I carried my two youngest 
children who were sick, and my wife held on to my clothes in her great weakness. We had all 
been sick with measles. Two infants had died. She had not left her bed for six weeks till that 
day, when she stood up a few minutes. The naked painted Indians were dancing the scalp dance 
around a large fire at a little distance. There seemed no hope for us and we knew not which way 
to go, but bent our steps towards Fort Walla Walla. A dense cold fog shut out every star and the 
darkness was complete. We could see no trail and not even the hand before the face. We had to 
feel out the trail with our feet. My wife almost fainted but staggered along. Mill creek, which we 
had to wade was high from late rains, and come up to the waist. My wife in her great weakness 
came nigh washing down, but held to my clothes, I bracing myself with a stick, holding a 
child in one arm. I had to cross five times for the children. The water was icy cold and the 
air freezing some. Staggering along about two miles, Mrs. Osborne fainted and could go no 
further, and we hid ourselves in the brush of the Walla Walla river, not far below Tom 
Suckey's (a chief) lodges, who was very active at the commencement of the butchery. We 

ff #111-11 






OEEGON. 121 

were thoroughly wet and the cold fog like snow was about us. The cold mud was partially 
frozen as we crawled, feeling our way, into the dark brash. We could see nothing, the 
darkness was so extreme. I spread one wet sheet down on the frozen ground; wife and children 
crouched upon it. I covered the other over them. I thought they must soon perish, as they were 
shaking and their teeth rattling with cold. I kneeled down and commended us to my Maker. The 
day finally dawned and we could see Indians riding furiously up and down the trail. Sometimes 
they would come close to the brush and our blood would warm and the shaking would stop from 
fear for a moment. The day seemed a week. Expected every moment my wife would breathe her 
last. Tuesday night, felt our way to the trail and staggered along to Sutucks Nima (Dog Creek) 
which we waded as we did the other creek, and kept on about two miles when my wife fainted and 
could go no farther. Crawled into the brush and frozen mud to shake and suffer on from hunger 
and cold, without sleep. The children, too, wet and cold, called incessantly for food, but the 
shock of groans and yells at first so frightened them that they did not speak loud. Wednesday night 
wife was too weak to stand. I took our second child and started for Walla Walla; had to wade the 
1'ouchet; stopped frequently in the brush from weakness; had not recovered from measles. Heard 
a he rsetnan pass and repass as I lay concealed in the willows. Have since learned it was Mr. Spald- 
ing. Beached Fort Walla Walla after daylight; begged Mr. McBean for horses to g-et my family, 
for food, blankets and clothing to take to them, and to take care of my child till I could bring my 
family in, should I live to find them alive. Mr. McBean told me I could not bring my family to his fort. 
Mr. Hall had come in on Monday night, but he could not have an American in his fort, and he had 
put him over the Columbia river; that he could not let me have horses or anything for my wife and chil- 
dren, and I must go to Umatilla. I insisted on bringing my family to the fort, but he refused; said he 
would not let us in . I next begged the priests to show pity, as my wife and children must perish 
and the Indians undoubtedly would kill me, but with no success. I then begged to leave my child 
who was now safe in the fort, but they refused. 

" ' There were many priests in the fort. Mr. McBean gave me breakfast, but I saved most of 
it for my family. Providentially Mr. Stanley an artist, came in fromColville, narrowly escaped the 
Cayuse Indians by telling them he was "Alain," H. B. He let me have his two horses, some food 
he had left from Bev. Eells and Walker's mission; also a cap, a pair of socks, a shirt and handker- 
chief, and Mr. McBean furnished an Indian who proved most faithful, and Thursday night we started 
back, taking my child but with a sad heart that I could not find mercy at the hand of the priests 
of Grod. The Indian guided me in the thick darkness to where I supposed I had left my dear wife 
and children. We could see nothing and dare not call aloud. • Daylight came and I was exposed 
to Indians, but we continued to search till I was about to give up in despair when the Indian dis- 
covered one of the twigs I had broken as a guide in coming out to the trail. Following these he 
soon found my wife and children yet alive. I distributed what little food and clothing I had, and 
we started for the Umatilla, the guide leading the way to a ford. * * * * 

" ' Mr. McBean came and asked who was there. I replied. He said he could not let us in; 
we must go to Umatilla or he would put us over the river, as he had Mr. Hall. My wife replied, 
"She would die at the gate, but she would not leave." He finally opened and took us into a secret- 
room and sent an allowance of food for us every day. Next day I asked him for blankets for my 
sick wife to lie on. He had nothing. Next day I urged again. He had nothing to give, but would sell 
a blanket out of the store. I told him I had lost everything, and had nothing to pay; but if I should 
live to get to the Willamette, I would pay. He consented. But the hip-bones of my dear wife 
wore through the skin on the hard floor. Stickus, the chief, came in one day and took the cap from 
his head and gave it to me, and a handkerchief to my child.' * * * * 

"The sun of the thirtieth of November refused to shine on the once beautiful and happy 
valley of the Walla Walla, now stained with the blood of God's servants, shed ' like water round 
about,' and the bloody work was not yet done. Mr. Kimball, with arm broken, and otherwise badly 
wounded, remained in the chamber with the four sick children and the two oldest Sager girls, 
Catherine and Elizabeth. They tore up a sheet, wound up his arm and bandaged his bleeding 
body; but he suffered all night, and became frantic for water in the morning; said he would have 
it if killed in the attempt. He crawled out to the river. A friendly Indian saw him and hid him 
in the brush, but for reasons unknown, about sundown he crawled out and came toward his house. 

122 OREGON. 

Catherine (who had come over with the children) says: ' I heard the crack of a gun by rny side and 
turned. Frank Escaloom, an Indian, was taking his gun from his face. Laughing, and pointing 
to the fence, he said: ' See how I make the Sugapoos (Americans) tumble.' Mr. Kimball was fall- 
ing from the fence near the door, the blood running down the rails. Frank then stepped a little 
distance, took Susan Kimball by the arm, and laughingly said: ' See, I have killed your father, 
and you are to be my wife,' and dragged her away. The same evening Mr. Young, coming down 
with a team, was met over the hill, a mile from the station, and shot. Two of the oxen were shot 
with him. 

" The same afternoon, General Brouillet, Vicar General for the Pope of Rome on this coast, 
arrived from the Umatilla at the camp of the murderers, which was close by the station, who kept 
up the scalp-dance all night, the screams of our helpless women, writhing in the hands of the un- 
restrained demons, in plain hearing. * * ***** 

" After the baptizing of the murderers, and after the bodies had been collected, sheets sewed 
around them by my daughter Eliza and others and hauled by hand in wagons, put in a pit and 
slightly covered, the Indians collected around the General, and insisted on his going to the Doc- 
tor's medicines, to select out the poison, which it was said had been sent by the fathers of Mrs. 
Whitman and Spalding, and with which the Doctor had been killing them, as he represented. 
Several depositions sustained this declaration. 1 Mr. McLane, secretary to Col. Gilliam, says: 'Soon 
after our forces left the garrison, we met a delegation from the Cayuse camp, headed by Stickus, 
who said: ' When we had but one religion, we had peace; but when another religion came, there 
was trouble. We were told the Doctor was poisoning' us; most of us didn't believe. But the 
Indians killed Dr. Whitman, and after he was dead, the chief who told us these things came, and we 
told him to show us the poison. He went to the Doctor's room, took up several little bottles, then 
selecting one and holding it up, said: ' This is the poison with which the Doctor was killing you; 
bury this in a box, or you will all be dead.' Miss Bewley, Catherine Sager and Eliza Spalding 
say after the bodies were buried, the priest, who had been in the Indian camp over night, came 
into the large house where the captives were kept, and the Indians gathered around him and asked 
him to go to the Doctor's medicines and find the poison. The priest went over to the Doctor's 
house, and followed by multitudes of Indians, but by no white man except Joe Stanfield. We 
trembled lest something should be found and made the pretense for killing us all. The Indian 
women were gathering around us with their dull tomahawks, and we expected every moment they 
would split our heads open. Joe Stanfield came out, the Indians following him, and said: ' The 
Father has found the poison; here it is,' holding up a phial which he put into a box with earth, 
nailed it up and took it away to bury it. 

" Sails and Bewley were removed to the large building and commenced to gain slowly. The 
helpless women and girls bereft of their husbands, fathers and brothers, by the cruel tomahawk, 
stripped of their property, cattle, teams, their money, and even of their clothing, till they had not 
enough to keep them from shivering-, were subjected to a fate more terrific than death itself, and 
beyond the power of pen to describe. The Indians admitted that in some cases they had to use 
the knife, their victims being so ycung. I am told by the volunteers that three Indians who re- 
ported these acts to them the next summer, rather boastingly, were missing the next day. Our 
captive women were conrpelled to cook for large numbers of the savages every day, who would call 
upon Eliza to know if poison was put in the food, and requiring of her to eat of it first. Robbed 
of most of her clothing, exposed to the cold and the smell of blood while sewing sheets around the 
offensive dead bodies, constant calls from the terrified white women and the Indians, to interpret 
for them, Eliza sank down in a few days, and was laid almost helpless in the same room with Sails 
and Bewley. On the eighth day after the first butchery three Indians came into the room and said 
that the great white chief at Umatilla had said that they must kill the two sick men to stop the dying of 
their people. They tore off the table legs and commenced beating Sails and Bewley and were full half 
an hour in killing them, their victims struggling over the floor and around the room, the blood and 
brains flying over my child, who was compelled to hear the blows and groans and witness the terri- 
ble scene. Miss Bewley attempted to rush in from another room, when she heard the agonies of 

1 The writer can learn of the existence of no such depositions proving this assertion to be true. 

OEEGON. 123 

her dying brother, but the women held her back. The bodies were thrown out at the door, and 
were not allowed to be buried for three days." 

The readers now have before them that full chapter of horrors, painted in the 
darkest hues possible, with no shadow left out that could add to the hideous detail. 
We have given it, that the reader might be placed in possession of the incidents of 
that cruel affair, of the broad, direct charge that is made against the Jesuit priests who 
were in that region at the time, and of the strongest testimony extant calculated to 
lead one to believe the charge to be just. Those who have followed the thread of this 
narrative of early events to the time in question, have seen that from the first, a bitter 
feud had sprung up between the Jesuits and Protestants in Oregon ; that it had gradually 
increased in bitterness, and that the Jesuits were carrying everything before them ; that 
they had come to Walla Walla with the undoubted purpose of prosecuting the war in 
the enemy's country; that an unfriendly interview had occurred between the Doctor 
and the priests; that the massacre had been incited by, and followed under unques- 
tioned direction of those who are said to be Catholics, 1 and finally, that a priest had 
come, it is asserted, to baptize the murderers, and had apparently acknowledged his 
complicity by pointing out the poison that he is said to have asserted the Doctor was 
killing them with. That not an opening in this wall of testimony might exist through 
which those priests could escape conviction of being the instigators of the traegdy, 
those Indians come into the room where two sick and wounded men lay, and solemnly 
assert in the presence of white witnesses, " That the great white 2 chief at Umatilla had 
said that they must be killed," as an antidote to measles and dysentery among the 
Indians; after which declaration the two heralds fall upon the helpless victims with 
clubs and beat them to death. Having traced all this accumulative testimony until it 
has apparently led to the evidence of a heinous crime, let the reader pause and reflect. 
After all, does it prove the Jesuits to have been guilty of complicity, or even of their 
knowing that the massacre was contemplated ? Before we search for the weak places 
in the armor of this accusation, let us bear two facts in mind. First — If persons are 
accused of murder, whose natures have prompted them to devote the energies of their 
lives towards benefiting their fellows, it should require much stronger evidence to con- 
vince one of their guilt than it would if the accused were of a nature or calling that 
would lead one to expect them to commit such a crime. Where it is claimed that 
ministers of the gospel have conspired with each other to procure the butchery of a 
settlement by means that they must have known would be attended with horrors and 
tortures the most revolting and hideous, it should require much stronger testimony to 
convince one's mind of the truthfulness of such charge than it would if it had been 
made against known savages, either white or red. Second — Where circumstances are 
relied upon to prove a person's connection with a crime, the circumstances proved to 
exist, are no evidence of guilt, if the same things might have occurred though the ac- 
cused were innocent; or, in other words, did the accused do anything that might not 
have been done if innocent ? Was there anything discovered that could not have ex- 
isted if those priests had been innocent? If so, they are guilty; if not, their being 
accused is unwarranted, and a grievous wrong. 

1 This is denied by the priests. See Brouillet. page 79. 

2 The witnesses leave the word white out, and the great chief of that tribe, Five-Crows, lived at Umatilla. 

124 OREGON. 

Bearing these points in mind, let us examine the evidence. Why did Father 
Brouillet visit the scene of the tragedy the day after it occurred? He says it 
was a visit long contemplated, occurring at this particular time because the Doctor 
had informed him two days before of the continued extreme ravages of sickness at the 
mission among the Indians, and he thought it an occasion which might present him an 
opportunity to baptize infants or adults who were at the gates of death. Stating it a 
little differently, he considered it a good opportunity for gaining a footing to enable 
him to commence his missionary work among the Indians in the immediate vicinity of 
Whitman's home. He further states that but three were baptized by him, all children, 
two of whom died directly after the ceremony. This was not countenancing the mur- 
ders by "baptizing the murderers." From the evidence of all, his acts upon reaching 
the place were those of a humanitarian nature, and after leaving, he met Rev. H. H. 
Spalding on the road, warned him of the danger, gave him food to aid in his flight ; 
and thus saved his life. What particular act was performed by this priest that he 
could not have done if innocent of any complicity in the murder? Was there a single 
one but such as would have been the natural act of an innocent man wishing to help 
the survivors, one who was himself safe because of his understood religious antagonism 
to the victims, but who was doubtful of his influence and afraid of evincing too much 
sympathy with the unfortunates, for fear of losing what power he had to aid them? 
Mr. Spalding said, yes; thousands of other people have said, yes the finding of the 
poison in the Doctor's medicine chest, combined with his statement that this was what 
had been killing the Indians and that they must bury it, is evidence of his attempt to 
prove to those savages that his previous statements to the same effect were correct. This 
is the strongest point in the whole line of accusing testimony, and let us examine it 
critically. Joe Lewis is the party who had circulated the poisoning tale, not as com- 
ing from the priests, but as a matter that he claimed to have gained from listening to 
a conversation between Dr. Whitman, his wife, and Mr. Spalding. Lewis is stated by 
Mr. Spalding to be an educated half-breed, one who could read and write. Would it 
not be a natural thing for him to seek for poison in Dr. Whitman's medicine chest as 
soon as access could be obtained to it after the massacre, to procure evidence of his 
having told truth to the Indians? The Doctor had arsenic among his medicines as 
evidenced by his having used it in destroying wolves, and it was undoubtedly labeled 
Poison. Its presence would thus be known to Joe Lewis who could read the label, 
and what would be a more feasible plan than for him to raise a clamor among his asso- 
ciates, suggesting that they demand of the priest to search for the poison, knowing that 
it would be found, and thus apparently prove the truthfulness of his (Lewis') state- 
ments in regard to the poisoning? The Catholic missionary goes to look and finds 
it, when the cry is raised that "The father has found the poison." In the confusion 
that follows, and under the excitement and terror that the three girls are in they hear 
much said about the matter that leaves an impression on their minds which one who 
was not there tries to convey by words that might possess a meaning not to be warranted 
from what was done or said at the time. The statement said to have been made by the 
three girls, however, only affirms that the priest found the poison, nothing more. Could 
he not have done this and still be innocent of the crime charged? But another witness 
appears upon the stand and makes a statement through an interpreter, that is taken down, 

OREGON. 125 

and may or may not have been the exact meaning which the chief wished to convey. 
The testimony was a statement, only, not under oath or circumstances calculated to give 
it weight as being reliable even. The witness was an Indian who had first deceived his 
best friend and then conspired to murder him, and was making the statement that 
he thought best calculated to shift the responsibility of what had been done from the 
shoulders of the parties who committed the acts to those whom he knew the Ameri- 
cans, many of them, already believed guilty. There is lack of sufficient evidence that 
this Indian ever made the statements as charged, and if he did, it is contradicted by all 
the balance of his tribe who said at the time, and continue to say, that it was Joe Lewis 
and not the priest who accused Whitman of poisoning the Indians. This same Indian 
was afterwards hung for the murder of Dr. Whitman, and signed a statement before 
his execution, denying that the priests had anything to do with the matter. Which of 
his statements shall we believe, the one in which he is trying to shift responsibilities 
for the massacre from his people whom he feared were to be punished for it, to the 
shoulders of those whom he had reason for believing the Americans already suspected, 
or the statement in which he acknowledges his people alone to be responsible? Under 
the circumstances does it seem to you, reader, that the statement of this chief, purport- 
ing to have been made in regard to what was said by the priests when the poison was 
found, warrants you in believing that if guilty the priest would be so simple as to make 
such a public acknowledgment of it? Scan it as you will, this testimony lacks strength 
and the more it is analyzed the weaker it becomes. Is there anything left in regard to 
that visit by the priest the day after the massacre that in any way indicates complicity 
in the transaction? If he wanted the Protestant missionaries murdered why did he 
not keep silent and let Missionary Spalding go on to his death? If he had been plotting 
to that end why step in and defeat his own plans? If his heart was closed against the 
Americans why did he help bury them and conduct himself as a man would whose 
feelings were shocked and sympathies aroused for the sufferers? If he did it to pre- 
vent suspicion from attaching to him and his ass'ociate priests, how about his talk when 
the poison was found in which all disguise is said to have been thrown off, or if he 
were striving to ward off suspicion why in the name of all that is reasonable did he 
not stay at home, and not go to the place at all? His presence there at that time is 
evidence in itself of innocence. It would be a very fiend that would seek the scene of 
his atrocity to witness such hellish results of his own design. 

The statement made by the three Indians, when they came on the eighth day 
after the massacre to kill the unfortunate Bewley and Sales, is still weaker as evi- 
dence of a fact. Can any one believe that if those priests, or any of them were ac- 
complices " before the fact" in the Whitman massacre, they would not take every 
precaution possible to prevent the world from learning such fact? Would they be 
likely — would you, reader, have been so foolish as to do it had you been in their place, 
and guilty — to give such a public order to kill two more persons when there was 
nothing to be gained by it, as is attributed to "the great white chief at Umatilla?" 
" Three Indians came into the room and said that the great white chief at Umatilla 
had said that they must kill the two sick men to stop the dying of their people," writes 
Mr. Spalding. This is a very grave statement to be made with no evidence to support 
it or indication as to the source of his information. In whatever way it is viewed as 

126 OREGON. 

evidence, it lacks the quality of strength. Admitting that the Indians came and 
stated as charged, it does not follow that they told the truth. Is it not easier to believe 
that some Indian — Joe Lewis possibly — finding that deaths continued although the 
poison was buried and the massacre had taken place, concluded that more victims were 
necessary to appease the spirit of wrath, and gave the order as coming from that 
source, in order to make sure that the three sent would not fail in ]3erforming the act ? 
Whatever one may imagine to have been the source or cause of such order — if it is 
believed that such was ever given — it requires strong evidence to convince the mind 
that those priests were such fools as to take such a public way of proclaiming their 
guilt as is indicated by the accusation. In regard to Mr. Osborne, the following state- 
ment is inserted, as it is from an artist who chanced to be in the country at the time, 
who was on his way from Fort Colville to Fort Vancouver. He was an American, not 
a Catholic, and narrowly escaped being one of those victims at Whitman's mission 
He had reached the vicinity of the place on his way down from the upper country, 
just after the massacre, when a little Indian girl warned him of danger by signs, and 
he passed on to Walla Walla without stopping. 

" During my stay at Walla "Walla in December last," says Mr. Stanley, " I occupied a room 
with two or more of the Catholic priests; and their beds consisted of two blankets with a stick of 
wood for their pillow. 

" I arrived at Walla Walla the second of December, and learned from Mr. McBean that Mr. 
Hall brought him the first intelligence of the massacre early in the morning of the thirtieth of 
November — that he was received in the fort in Mr. Bean's private or family room. * * 

He was undecided whether to remain or proceed to Willamette; feared he would be killed if found 
by the Cayuses; and after consulting Mr. McBean thought he would reach the Willamette in safety 
on the north side of the river. He was furnished with a cappo, blanket, powder, ball, and tobacco, 
and Mr. McBean saw him sanely across the river. 

" Mr. Osborn and little son arrived few hours before me, and were received and cpuartered in 
the fort. 

" Mr. McBean procured for him a trusty Walla Walla Indian to return with him for his family, 
but having no horses at the post, I proffered the use of my own until he should reach the Com- 
pany's farm, about twenty miles distant, where he was supplied with fresh ones. Had it not been 
for the guide's perseverance, Mrs. Osborn and children must have perished. Mr. Osborn, despair- 
ing of finding the place where he had left them, proposed to the Indian to return. The Indian 
said he was told by Mr. McBean not to return without finding them, and he continued his search 
until he discovered their concealment. 

' ' They arrived at the fort early in the evening of the third of December, and Mr. McBean 
said he would protect them with his life. 

" They were not allowed to go three days without provisions, but on the contrary, were fur- 
nished daily with such pi-ovisions as were used by Mr. McBean and family. 

" Mr. McBean proffered a blanket to Mr. Osborn on his credit, and I am quite positive the 
article was not asked for by Mr. Osborn. 

" (Signed) J. M. Stanley. 

" Oregon City, March 10, 1848." 

The size of this book will not admit of space sufficient to take up each item of 
testimony brought forward in the effort made to prove the complicity of Jesuit priests 
in the Whitman massacre. None of them seemed to us equal in importance to what 
has been given, and when those contained in Mr. Spalding's letters failed to convince, 
the other points seemed only to indicate that the Fathers were anxious to get rid of the 
Protestant missionary influence; that they had been teaching the Indians generally 

OREGON. 127 

that Protestaut doctrines were an abomination ; that they knew the Cayuse Indians 
had determined to insist on Whitman's leaving to make way for the Catholics; that 
they were not expecting the massacre, and when it came, seeing their awkward predic- 
ament because of the Indians' confidence in them and their understood unfriendly re- 
lations with the "Bostons," they were forced to do just as they did do after finding the 
calamity was upon them; that is, to strive to retain their favorable position with the 
natives, which necessitated their maintaining friendly relations with them. Certainly 
their breaking with the Cayuses, and by so doing, losing their influence with them 
immediately after the tragedy, would have been fatal to many a poor captive who was 
saved through the pursuance of an opposite course, which gave force to the priests' 
advice not to kill the prisoners. 

With the foregoing expression of doubts as to the testimony presented, being such 
as warranted the charge of such a heinous, revolting crime as is based upon it, we leave 
the subject with the reader and pass to the 


The day after the massacre William McBean in charge of the Walla Walla fort 
sent a messenger to Fort Vancouver to apprise Mr. Douglas of what had transpired. 
That messenger stopped at the Dalles and procured a boat from Mr. Alanson Hinman 
the Methodist missionary at that place, with which to continue his journey, but did 
not inform this gentleman or any American there of what had transpired, and 
left them in ignorance of the danger that menaced them. When censured for this his 
statement was that he but carried out instructions received from his superior Mr. Mc- 
Bean. That messenger reached Vancouver on the fourth of December, and James 
Douglas sent, on the morning of the second day thereafter, a letter to Governor Aber- 
nethy at Oregon City advising him of what had taken place in the interior. The 
same day, December 7, P. S. Ogden of the Hudson's Bay Company started from Van- 
couver with a force for the scene of the tragedy, and on passing the Dalles advised 
the Americans at that place to abandon the mission and seek safety in the Willam- 
ette, which they did. 

On the eighth of December Governor Abernethy informed the Legislature of what 
had transpired and by message called for volunteers. That night at a public meet- 
ing a company was organized to proceed at once to the Dalles, as an outpost to protect 
the missionaries there, and to dispute a passage of the Cascade mountains with hostile 
Indians if any contemplated carrying war into the Willamette settlements. The com- 
pany thus organized contained the following named members: 


Captain — Henry A. Gr. Lee. Orderly Sergeant — J. S. Rinearson. 

First Lieutenant —Joseph Magone. First Duty Sergeant — J. H. McMillen. 

Second Lieutenant — John E. Ross. Second Duty Sergeant — C. W. Savage. 

Surgeon — "W. M. Carpenter. Third Duty Sergeant — S. Cummings. 

Commissary — C. H. Davendorf. 1 Fourth Duty Sergeant — William Barrey. 

1 Nine given by W. H. Gray. 




Averson, D. 1 
Barlow, Samuel K. 
Bosworth, J. H. 
Beekman, William 
Bratton, Benjamin 
Balton, JoLn 
Berry, William 23 
Coe, Henry W. 
Carnahan, 2 

Finner, John 
Gibson, John G. 
Hiner, John 1 
Jackson, O C. 2 * 
Jackson, S. A. 1 
Johnson, Jacob 
Kester, James 
Little, John 
Little, A. C.i 
Lassater, John 
Levally, Henry 
Ladd, John 2 4 

McKee, Joel 
Morgan, J. W. 
Marsh, Ed. 
Marsh, Lucius* 
Moore, George 
McDonald, Alex. 2 
Olney, N. 
Proctor, Joseph B. 
Packwood, 2 * 

Purvis, Thomas 1 
Richardson, John 

Rogers, B. B. 
Robeson, Edward 


Thomas, A. J. 
Tupper, R. S. 
Tupper, O. 
Witchey, J. 
Weston, G. W. 
Wesley, George 
Walgamoutts, Isaac 
Wise, Andrew 1 

Danford, John C. 
Eversts, David 
Fleming, John 

The Legislature pledged the credit of the provisional government to pay the ex- 
penses of procuring an outfit for this company, and appointed a committee to visit 
Vancouver and negotiate for the same from the Hudson's Bay Company, which they 
did, but were obliged to become personally responsible for the amount. December 10, 
the Oregon Rifles reached Vancouver, received their supplies, and pushed on for the 
Dalles where they arrived on the twenty-first of the month. In the meantime the 
Legislature entered with energy upon a series of resolutions and enactments with a 
view to military organization of magnitude sufficient to chastise the Indians, and the 
citizens by subscriptions and enlistments seconded cordially the efforts of their provi- 
sional government. Many were for pushing forward into the enemy's country at once 
with a formidably armed force, but wiser counsels prevailed, and nothing was done 
likely to prevent the Indians from surrendering their white captives to Mr. Ogden of 
the Hudson's Bay Company who had gone among them for the purpose of inducing 
such surrender. That gentleman with his force from Vancouver reached Fort Walla 
Walla December 19, and the next day a council of the chiefs took place at the Catho- 
lic mission on the Umatilla, in which they signed the following declaration of their 
wishes : 

" First — That the Americans may not go to war with the Cay uses. 

" Second — That they may forget the lately committed murders, as the Cayuses 
will forget the murder of the son of the great chief of Walla Walla, committed in 

" Third — That two or three great men may come up to conclude peace. 

" Fourth — That as soon as these great men have arrived and concluded peace, 
they may take with them all the women and children. 

" Fifth — They give assurance that they will not harm the Americans before the 
arrival of these two or three great men. 

" Sixth — They ask that Americans may not travel any more through their country, 
as their young men might do them harm. 

1 Names given by W H. Gray. 

2 Names given by First Duty Sergeant McMillen, the other names are from the muster roll. 
* Killed. 

3 Wounded. 

4 Promoted to captain. 





OREGON. 129 

" Place of Tawatowe, Youmatilla, twentieth of December, 1847. 

" (Signed) Tilokaikt, 


December twenty-third, the chiefs assembled at the fort to hear what the Hud- 
son's Bay factor had to say to them; and the following speeches by Mr. Ogden and 
three of the Indian chiefs made on that occasion, tell their own tale : 

" I reoret," said Mr. Ogden, " to observe that all the chiefs whom I asked for are not present 

two being absent. I expect the words I am about to address you to be repeated to them and 

your young men on your return to your camps. 

" It is now thirty years since we have been among you. During this long period we have 
never had any instance of blood being spilt until the inhuman massacre, which has so recently 
taken place. We are traders, and a different nation from the Americans. But recollect we supply 
you with ammunition not to kill the Americans. They are the same color as ourselves, speak the 
same language, children of the same God, and humanity makes our hearts bleed when Ave behold 
you using them so cruelly. Besides this revolting butchery, have not the Indians pillaged, ill- 
treated the Americans, and insulted their women, when peacefully making their way to the Wil- 
lamette. As chiefs, ought you to have connived at such conduct on the part of your young men ? 
Tou tell me the young men committed the deeds without your knowledge. Why do we make you 
chiefs ii you have no control over your young men? Tou are a set of hermaphrodites, and un- 
worthy of the appellation of men as chiefs. You young, hofc-headed men, I know that you pride 
yourselves upon your bravery, and think no one can match you. Do not deceive yourselves. If 
you get the Americans to commence once, you will repent it, and war will not end until every one 
of you is cut off from the face of the earth. I am aware that a good many of your friends and 
relatives have died through sickness. The Indians of other places have shared the same fate. It 
is not Dr. Whitman that has poisoned them, but God has commanded that they should die. We 
are weak mortals, and must submit, and I trust you will avail yourselves of the opportunity. By 
so doing, it may be advantageous to you, but at the same time remember that you alone will be 
responsible for the consequences. It is merely advice that I give you. We have nothing to do 
with it. I have not come here to make promises or hold out assistance. We have nothing to do 
with your quarrels; we remain neutral. On my return, if you wish it, I shall do all I can for 
you, but I do not promise you to prevent war. 

" If you deliver me up all the prisoners I shall pay you for them on their being delivered, but 
let it not be said among you afterwards that I deceived you. I and Mr. Douglass represent the 
company, but I tell you once more we promise you nothing. We sympathize with these poor 
people, and wish to return them to their friends and relations by paying you for them. My request 
in behalf of the families concerns you, so decide for the best." 

The young chief (Tawatue) replied: " I arise to thank you for your words. You white chiefs 
command obedience with those that have to do with you. It is not so with us. Our young men 
are strong-headed and foolish. Formerly we had experienced, good chiefs. These are laid in the 
dust. The descendants of my father were the only good chiefs. Though we made war with the 
other tribes, yet we always looked and ever will look upon the whites as our brothers. Our blood 
is mixed with yours. My heart bleeds for the death of so many good chiefs I had known. For the 
demand made by you, the old chief Teloqiwit is here. Speak to him. As regards myself I am will- 
ing to give up the families." 

leloquoit then said: " I have listened to your words. Young men do not forget them. As for 
war we have seen little of it. We know the whites to be our best friends who have all along pre- 
vented us from killing each other. That is the reason why we avoid getting into war with them, 
and why we do not wish to be separated from them. Besides the tie of blood, the whites have 
shown us a convincing proof of their attachment to us by burying their dead 'longside with ours. 
Chief, your words are weighty. Your hairs are gray. We have known you a long time. You have 

130 OKEGON. 

had an unpleasant trip to this place. I cannot therefore keep these families back. I make them 
over to you, which I would not do to another younger than yourself." 

Serpent Jaune followed, stating that: " I have nothing to say. I know the Americans to be 
changeable, still I am of the opinion as the young chief. The whites are our friends and we follow 
your advice. I consent to your taking the families." 

Mr. Ogden then addressed two'Nez Perce chiefs at length in behalf of Eev. H. H. Spalding 
and party, promising that he would pay for their safe delivery to him. The result was that both 
chiefs, James and Itimimlpelp, promised to bring them, provided they were willing to come and im- 
mediately started with that purpose, having a letter from Mr. Chief Factor Ogden to Mr. Spalding. 
The foregoing speeches were first published in the Oregonian in 1881, and were 
furnished to that paper by Mr. M. Eells, a son of Rev. Cushing Eells, who says of them : 
" These papers have been in possession of our family ever since that time, and I do not 
know that any other person has a copy." The result of that conference was the de- 
livery, December 29, of the following persons to Mr. Ogden, for which he paid to the 
Cayuse Indians, 5 blankets, 50 shirts, 10 fathoms of tobacco, 10 handkerchiefs, 10 
guns, and 100 rounds of ammunition. 1 


Missionary children adopted by Dr. Whitman — Miss Mary A. Bridger, Cath- 
erine Sager aged 13 years; Elizabeth Sager, 10. Matilda J. Sager, 8; Henrietta 
N. Sager, 4; Hannah L. Sager, Helen M. Meek. The last two died soon after the 

From DuPage county, Illinois — Mr. Joseph Smith, Mrs. Hannah Smith; Mary 
Smith aged 15 years; Edwin Smith, 13; Charles Smith, 11 ; Nelson Smith, 6; Mor- 
timer Smith, 4. 

From Fulton county, Illinois — Mrs. Eliza Hall; Jane Hall aged 10 years; Mary 
C. Hall, 8; Ann E. Hall, 6; Eebecca Hall, 3; Rachael M. Hall, 1. 

From Osage county, Mississippi — Mr. Elam Young, Mrs. Irene Young ; Daniel 
Young aged 21 years ; John Young, 19. 

From La Porte county, Indiana — Mrs. Harriet Kimball ; Susan M. Kimball 
aged 16 years ; Nathan M. Kimball, 13 ; Byron M. Kimball, 8 ; Sarah S. Kimball, 
6 ; Mince A. Kimball, 1. 

, From Iowa — Mrs. Mary Sanders ; Helen M. Sanders aged 14 years ; Phebe L. 
Sanders, 10 ; Alfred W. Sanders, 6 ; Nancy I. Sanders, 4 ; Mary A. Sanders, 2 ; Mrs. 
Sally A. Canfield ; Ellen Canfield, 16 ; Oscar Canfield, 9 ; Clarissa Canfield, 7 ; Sylvia 
A. Canfield, 5 ; Albert Canfield, 3. 

From Illinois — Mrs. Rebecca Hays ; Henry C. Hays aged 4 years ; also Eliza 
Spalding, Nancy E. Marsh, Lorrinda Bewley. 

On New Year's day, 1848, Rev. H. H. Spalding with ten others, being all the 
Americans from his mission, arrived at Walla Walla fort under escort of fifty Nez 
Perce Indians, to whom Mr. Ogden paid for their safe delivery, 12 blankets, 12 shirts, 
12 handkerchiefs, 5 fathoms of tobacco, 2 guns, 200 rounds of ammunition, and some 
knives. 1 

January 2, 1848, they all started under charge of Mr. Ogden down the Columbia 
river in boats. Within two hours after they had left the fort, a band of Cayuse war- 
riors, numbering some fifty, dashed up to the place and demanded Mr. Spalding's de- 

1 These payments are as given by J. B. A. Brouillet, in his publication of 1869 in regard to the Whitman massacre, pages 65 
and 66. W. H. Gray gives the total amount of ammunition paid to both tribes as 600 rounds— page 558. 



livery to them to be killed, as they had heard of the arrival at the Dalles of Ameri- 
cans to make war upon them, and they believed him responsible for it. Major H. A. 
G. Lee had reached that place with the Oregon Rifles twelve days before. 

On the tenth of January that forlorn band of rescued captives, gathered from be- 
fore the gates of death by the hand of that venerable representative of the Hudson's 
Bay Compay, reached Oregon City, where, with overflowing hearts they were received 
by the Governor, the people, and their friends. Long may this humane service by 
Peter S. Ogden to our countrymen, in their hour of deadly peril, be held in grateful 
remembrance as only a generous people, like the Americans, can hold such an act. 

Mr. Hall escaped and reached Fort Walla Walla, whence he was put across the 
river to make his way to the settlements, and was never heard from after. It is 
said he was denied protection at the fort, but Mr. McBean asserts that he chose to go, 
fearing the capability of the garrison to protect him. Mr. — Canfield, running the 
gauntlet, finally reached the Nez Perce tribe, and was saved. The desperate and suc- 
cessful struggle of Josiah Osborn with his family to reach Fort Walla Walla, has been 
given. This family was formerly from Henderson county, Illinois, and consisted of 
Mrs. Margaret the mother; Nancy A. aged 8 years, now the wife of Andrew Kees, 
who lives in Weston, Umatilla county, Oregon ; John L. aged 4 years, who after- 
wards died in Oregon, and Alexander A. aged 2? years. Mr. Osborn died October 
19, 1880, at Halsey, Linn county, Oregon. 


Dr. Marcus Whitman, 

Mrs. Narcissa Whitman, 

John Sager, 

Francis Sager, 

Mr. Crockett Bewley, 

Mr. Rogers, ass't mis'y, 
Mr. Kimball, 
Mr. Sales, 
Mr. Marsh, 

Mr. Sanders, 

Mr. James Young, Jr., 

Mr. Hoffman, 

Mr. Isaac Gillen. 



Let us look back into the year 1847, and take up the military organization as it 
was left in the previous chapter, with the Oregon Rifles at the Dalles. On the ninth 
of December the Legislature authorized the raising and equipping of a regiment not to 
exceed 500 men for the field. Two days later that body chose for the regiment its 


Colonel, Cornelius Gilliam, accidentally killed. Assistant Surgeons, F. Snider and H. Saffians. 

LieuteDant-Colonel, James Waters, promoted to Colonel. Commissary.. Joel Palmer. 

Major, H. A. G. Lee. Quartermaster, B. Jennings. 

Adjutant, B. F. Bu-rch. . Paymaster, L. B. Knox. 

Surgeon, W. M. Carpenter. Judge Advocate, Jacob S. Rinearson. 


Company A — Captain, Lawrence Hall First Lieutenant, H. D. O'Bryant... Second Lieutenant, John Engent 55 men 

Company B — Captain, John W. Owens First Lieutenant, A. F. Rogers Second Lieutenant, T. C. Shaw 43 men 

Company C — Captain, H. J. G. Maxon First Lieutenant, I.N.Gilbert Second Lieutenant, Wm. P. Pugh 84 men 

Company D — Captain, Thomas McKay First Lieutenant, Charles McKay.. ..Second Lieutenant, Alex. McKay 36 men 

Company D — Captain, Phil. F. Thompson First Lieutenant. JamesBrownl Second Lieutenant, J.M. Garrison 52 men 

3 Company E — Captain, Levi N. English First Lieutenant, William Shaw Second Lieutenant, F. M. Munkers 44 men 

Company E — Captain, William Martin First Lieutenant, A E. Garrison Second Lieutenant, David Waters 36 men 

Company E — Captain, W, P. Pugh First Lieutenant, N. R D<>tv Second Lieutenant, M. Ramsely .63 men 

Company G — Captain, James W. Nesmith First Lieutenant. J. S. Snook Second Lieutenant, M. Gilliam 66 men 

Company H — Captain, George W. Bennett First Lieutenant, J. R. Bevin Second Lieutenant, J. R. Payne 49 men 

2 Company I — Captain, William Shaw First Lieutenant, D. Crawford Second Lieutenant, B. Dario 36 men 

3 Company No. 7 — Captain, J. M. Garrison First Lieutenant, A. E. Garrison Second Lieutenant, John Hersen 27 men 

F. S. Waters' Guard — Captain, William Mart n... First Lieutenant, D. Weston Second Lieutenant, B. Taylor 57 nen 

Reorganized Company — Captain, John E. Rees.. .First Lieutenant, D. P. Barnes Second Lieutenant, W. W. Porter 

Two other companies at a later date went out to the field. 

February 23, 1848, Colonel Gilliam reached the Dalles with fifty men. The 
main body of his regiment arriving at that place, he moved to the Des Chutes river 
on the twenty-seventh with 130 men, crossed to the east bank, and sent Major Lee up 
the stream about twenty miles on a reconnaisance, where he found the enemy, engaged 
them, killed one, lost some of his horses and returned to report progress. On the 
twenty-ninth Colonel Gilliam moved up the Des Chutes to Meek's crossing at the 
mouth of the canon in which Major Lee had met the Indians. The next morning on 
entering the canon a skirmish followed, in which were captured from the hostiles, 40 
horses, 4 head of cattle and $300 worth of personal property, all of which was sold by 
the quartermaster for $1,400. The loss in killed and wounded of the Indians was not 
known. There was one white man wounded and the result was a treaty of peace with 

1 Died at Vancouver February 30, 1848. 

2 Organized at Walla Walla, June 7, 1848 ; mustered out September 28, 1848. 

3 Companies E and No. 7 were consolidated as Company K, April 17, 1848. 

OEEGON. 133 

the Des Chutes Indians. The command pushed immediately forward to the Walla 
Walla country and reached the mission prior to March 4. On the way to that place 
a battle occurred at Sand Hollows on the emigrant road eight miles east of the Well 
Springs. It commenced on the plain where washes in the sand make natural hiding- 
places for a foe, and lasted until towards night. The volunteer force was arranged 
with the train in the road protected by Captain Hall's company. The companies of 
Captains Thompson and Maxon forming the left flank were on the north side of the 
road, and those of Captains English and McKay as the right flank were on the south 
or right of the command. Upon McKay's company at the extreme right the first 
demonstration was made. Five Croios, the head chief of the Cayuses, made some pre- 
tensions to the possession of wizard powers and declared to his people that no ball from 
a white man's gun could kill him. Another chief of that tribe, named War Eagle or 
Swallow Ball, made similar professions and stated that he could swallow all the bullets 
from the guns of the invading army if they were fired at him. The two chiefs prom- 
ised their people that Gilliam's command should never reach the Umatilla river, and 
to demonstrate their invulnerability and power as medicine chiefs, they dashed out 
from concealment, rode down close to the volunteers and shot a little dog that came out 
to bark at them. Captain McKay, although the order was not to fire, could hold back 
no longer, and bringing his rifle to bear took deliberate aim and shot War Eagle 
through the head killing him instantly. Lieutenant Charles McKay brought his shot 
gun down to the hollow of his arm, and firing without sighting it, so severely wounded 
Five Crows that he gave up the command of his warriors. This was a serious, chilling 
opening for the Indians, two chiefs gone at the first onset and their powers of incanta- 
tion proved worthless; but, they continued the battle in a skirmishing way, making 
dashing attacks and masterly retreats until late in the afternoon. At one time during 
the engagement, Captain Maxon's company followed the enemy so far that it was sur- 
rounded, and a sharp encounter followed in which a number of volunteers were disabled. 
In fact, eight of the eleven soldiers wounded that day were of Maxon's company. 
Two Indians were known to have been killed, but the enemy's loss could not be known 
as they removed all of their wounded and dead, except two. 

That night the regiment camped on the battlefield without water, and the Indians 
built large and numerous fires along the bluffs or high lands some two miles in ad- 
vance. The next day Colonel Gilliam moved on, and without incident worthy 
of note, reached Whitman's mission the third day after the battle. The main body 
of Indians fell back towards Snake river, and a fruitless attempt followed to induce 
them to give up the parties who had committed the murders at Wailatpu. Colonel 
Gilliam at last determined upon making a raid into the Snake river country, and in 
carrying out this programme, surprised a camp of Cayuses near that stream, among 
whom were some of the murderers. The captured, camp professed friendship, however, 
and pointed out the horses of Indians on the hills that they said belonged to the 
parties whom the Colonel was anxious to kill or capture, stating that their owners were 
on the north side of Snake river and beyond reach. So well was their part acted that 
our officers believed their statements, proceeded to drive off the stock indicated, and 
started on their return. They soon found that a grievous error had been committed in 
releasing the village, whose male population were soon mounted upon war horses, and 

134 OKEGON. 

assailed the volunteers on all sides, forcing them to light their way as they fell back to 
the Touchet river. Through the whole day and until evening, yes, into the night 
after their arrival at the latter stream, the contest was maintained, a constant harass- 
ing skirmish. The soldiers would drive the Indians back again and again, but so soon 
as the retreat was resumed, the red skins were upon them once more. Finally, after 
going into camp on the Touchet, Colonel Gilliam ordered the captured stock turned 
loose, and when the Indians got possession of it, they returned to Snake river without 
molesting the command any farther. In the struggle on the Touchet, when the re- 
treating soldiers first reached that stream, William Taylor was mortally wounded by 
an Indian who sprang up in the bushes by the stream and fired with but a few yards 
between them. Nathan Olney, afterwards Indian agent, seeing the act, rushed upon 
the savage, snatched from his hand a war club in which was fastened a piece of iron, 
and dealt him a blow on the head with it with such force as to cause the iron to split 
the club, and yet failed to kill him. He then closed with his antagonist in a hand to 
hand struggle and soon ended the contest with a knife. The writer has not, been 
able to learn of any other known casualties in that affair, which ended without having 
accomplished anything to further the purposes of the campaign. 

Colonel Gilliam started from the mission on the twentieth of March, with a small 
force destined to return from the Dalles with supplies, while he was to continue to the 
Willamette and report to the Governor. While camped at Well Springs he was killed 
by an accidental discharge of a gun, and his remains were taken to his friends west of 
the Cascades by Major Lee. This officer soon returned to his regiment with a com- 
mission as colonel, but finding Lt. Col. Waters had been electedby the regiment to that 
position in his absence, he resigned and filled a subordinate office for the remainder of 
his term of enlistment. The attempt by commissioners, who had been sent with the 
volunteers, as requested by the Indians in their memorial to the Americans, to nego- 
tiate a peaceful solution of the difficult problem, failed. They wanted the Indians to 
deliver up for execution all those who had imbrued their hands in the blood of our 
countrymen at Wailatpu, and it included several chiefs ; they wished the Cayuses to 
pay all damages to emigrants caused by their being robbed or attacked while passing 
through the Cayuse country. The Indians wished nothing of the kind. They wanted 
peace, and to be let alone; for the Americans to call the account balanced and drop 
the matter. The failure to agree had resulted in two or three skirmishes, one of them 
at least a severe test of strength, in which the Indians had received the worst of it, 
and in the other the volunteers had accomplished nothing that could be counted a suc- 
cess. The Cayuses finding that no compromise could be effected, abandoned their 
country, and most of them passed east of the Rocky mountains to hunt for buffalo. 
Nothing was left for the volunteers but to leave the country also, which they did, and 
the Cayuse war had practically ended. Finally, the Indians wished to return to their 
homes, but war stared them in the face, and what could they do. They were not 
anxious for a farther test of strength with the volunteers, but were given to understand 
that peace could never exist between them and the Americans until the murderers 
were delivered up for punishment. Thinking to negotiate some compromise of exist- 
ing difficulties, five chiefs finally, in the early part of 1850, came in to have a talk 
with Governor Lane. Being brought to Oregon City, they were thrown into prison, 

OREGON. 135 

tried, condemned, and hung at that place on the third of June, 1850. A great many 
people in Oregon doubted the guilt of these five chiefs, who it was claimed had de- 
livered themselves up as the ones to he punished for the massacre, and the acting Gov- 
ernor would have granted them a reprieve if he had been certain of possessing the 
power to do so. It was not known at the time whether Governor Lane was in Oregon 
or California, which left the question of who was executive in doubt. The five died 
declaring their innocence, and now there is a small remnant of that tribe who still be- 
lieve in the religious faith taught them by Whitman, who venerate his memory; but 
they say the parties hanged were not the ones who participated in that bloody drama. 
The following is the declaration signed by the chiefs executed : 


The declarations were made, a portion on the second, and finally on the third of 
June, the day of execution. 

Kilokite — "I am innocent of the crime of which I am charged. Those who com- 
mitted it are dead, some killed, some died; there were ten, two were my sons; they 
were killed by the Cayuses. Tumsucky, before the massacre, came to my lodge ; he 
told me they were going to hold a council to kill Dr. Whitman. I told him not to do 
so, that it was bad. One night seven Indians died near the house of Dr. Whitman, 
to whom he had given medicines. Tumsucky' s family were sick; he gave them 
roots and leaves; they got well. Other Indians died. Tumsucky came often. I talked 
to him, but his ears were shut ; he would not hear ; he and others went away. After 
a while some children came into my lodge and told me what was going on. I had told 
Tumsucky over and over to let them alone; my talk was nothing; I shut my mouth. 
When I left my people, the young chief told me to come down and talk with the big white 
chief, and tell him who it was, that did kill Dr. Whitman and others. My heart was 
big ; 'tis small now. The priest tells me I must die to-morrow. I know not for what. 
They tell me that I have made a confession to the marshal, that I struck Dr. Whit- 
man. 'Tis false ! You ask me if the priests did not encourage us to kill Dr. Whitman ? 
I answer no, no." 

Monday, 11:30 o'clock — "I am innocent, but my heart is weak since I have been 
in chains, but since I must die, I forgive them all. Those who brought me here and 
take care of me, I take them all in my arms, my heart is opened." 

Quiahmaesum (skin or panther's coat) — "I was up the river at the time of the 
massacre, and did not arrive until the next day. I was riding on horseback ; a white 
woman came running from the house. She held out her hand and told me not to kill 
her. I put my hand upon her head and told her not to be afraid. There were plenty 
of Indians all about. She, with the other women and children, went to Walla Walla, 
to Mr. Ogden's. I was not present at the murder, nor was I any way concerned in it. 
I am innocent. It hurts me to talk about dying for nothing. Our chief told us to 
come down and tell all about it. Those who committed the murder are killed and 
dead. The priest says I must die to-morrow. If they kill me, I am innocent." 

Monday, 11:30 a. m. — "I was sent here by my chief to declare who the guilty 
persons were; the white chief would then shake hands with me; the young chief would 

136 OREGON. 

come after me ; we would have a good heart. My young chief told me I was to come 
here to tell what I know concerning the murderers. I did not come as one of the 
murderers, for I am innocent. I never made any declarations to any one that I was 
guilty. This is the last time that I may speak." 

Kloakamtts — " I was there at the time ; I lived there, but I had no hand in the 
murder. I saw them when they were killed, but did not touch or strike any one. I 
looked on. There were plenty of Indians. My heart was sorry. Our chief told us 
to come down and tell who the murderers were. There were ten; they are killed. 
They say I am guilty, but it is not so; I am innocent. The people do not understand 
me. I can't talk to them. They tell me I must die by being hung by the neck. If 
they do kill me, I am innocent, and God will give me a big heart. 

Monday, 11:30 a. m. — "I have no reason to die for things I did not do. 
My time is short. I tell the truth. I know that I am close to the grave; but my 
heart is open and I tell the truth. I love every one in this world. I know that God 
will give me a big heart. I never confessed to the marshal that I was guilty, or to 
any other person ; I am innocent. The priests did not tell us to do what the Indians 
have done. This is my last talk." 

Siahsaluchtjs (or wet wolf) — I say the same as the others; the murderers are 
killed ; some by the whites, some by the Cayuses, and some by others. They were ten 
in number." 

Monday, 11:30 a. m. — " I have nothing more to say ; I think of God. I forgive 
all men ; I love them. The priest did not tell us to do this." 

Thomahas — " I did not know that I came here to die. Our chief told us to come 
and see the white chief and tell him all about it. The white chief would then tell us all, 
what was right and what was wrong. Learn us [how] to live when we returned home. 
Why should I have a bad heart — after I am showed and taught how to live ? My 
eyes were shut when I came here. I did not see, but now they are opened. I have 
been taught; I have been showed what was good and what was bad. I do not want to 
die ; I know now that we are all brothers. They tell me the same Spirit made us all." 

Monday, 11:30 a. m. — " Thomahas joined with Tilokite. My heart cries my 
brother was guilty, but he is dead. I am innocent. I know I am going to die for 
things I am not guilty of, but I forgive them. I love all men now. My hope, the 
priest tells me, is in Christ. My heart shall be big with good." 

(Signed) Henry H. Crawford, 

Sergeant, Co. D., E. M. R 
Robert D. Mahon, 
Corporal, Co. A., R M. R 


In the summer of 1847, J. Quinn Thornton was appointed by Governor Aber- 
nethy to visit Washington as Territorial Delegate, and represent Oregon's interests at 
the capital. His passage money was secured by a subscription, which included a flour 
donation that was taken on the vessel in which he sailed to San Francisco where it 
was sold. When news of the Whitman massacre reached Willamette, the Legislature 


■^ ■ 





OREGON. 137 

determined upon memorializing Congress, to advise that body of the outrage, and 
ask a territorial form of government for Oregon. Joseph L. Meek was selected bearer 
of the memorial, and he started overland from Walla Walla for Washington in March, 
1848, accompanied by John Owens and George Ebbarts. In a work entitled " The 
River of the West," Mrs. F. F. Victor has given such an attractive and vivid picture 
of the waggish eccentricities of this celebrated frontiersman, and the important part 
he took with J. Quinn Thornton in procuring the passage of the bill granting Oregon 
a territorial form of government, that we refer the reader to that book for a more ex- 
tended account of this important portion of Pacific Coast history. 

While Meek and J. Q. Thornton were urging the passage of a territorial bill in 
Congress in 1848, events were transpiring on the Pacific Coast of a nature destined to 
throw a shadow over the immediate prosperity of Oregon. James W. Marshall, one 
of the Oregon immigrants of 1844, had wandered away south into California, where, 
on the south fork of American river, he had discovered gold on the nineteenth of Jan- 
uary when building a mill for Captain John A. Sutter, who had crossed the plains to 
Oregon with W. H. Gray in 1838. In August this news reached Oregon and demor- 
alized the whole settlement. Farmers left their grain standing uncut in the fields, and 
the roads were lined with excited treasure seekers journeying to the land where Ala- 
din's cave had been found. Men risked everything ; claims were abandoned, homes 
were pledged to raise means to enable the father of a family to seek buried treasures 
in the new El Dorado. Some found the wealth they sought, but many returned dis- 
appointed to their homes, and the bones of others still rest by the gulches along the 
streams, or in lonesome canons deserted now, among the Sierra Nevada mountains. In 
1874 the writer learned the unhappy fate of one Oregon gold seeker of those early 
days, from a white haired miner in the Wallepah mountains of Arizona. The nar- 
ration in its graphic detail made a lasting impression ; not so much because it pictured 
the dramatic close of an obscure life, as for the reason that it was in all its features, 
except the tragic ending, a history also of hundreds who sought the gold fields of 
California, and were lost to their friends and kindred forever. It was the story of a 
man from Oregon, who had been the narrator's mining partner in the years that were 
gone. He had pledged his home for money to aid him in reaching California, hoping 
to find wealth there with which to return and pay the debt that otherwise would leave 
his family homeless. The years had come and gone without bringing luck to the 
prospector, until his family were turned out from their home, and he had become a 
discouraged, spiritless, consumptive wanderer among the gulches of California, with- 
out interest in the present or hope in the future. At length he was missed, and the 
narrator went into the hills to search for him, when he chanced, in passing along an 
unfrequented trail, to glance at a large pine tree a little way out to one side, where he 
discovered the form of a man sitting at its base apparently sleeping. He went to the 
silent lone figure, and found it grasping, with cold dead hands, a lump of shining- 
gold. The Oregon exile : the California prospector, had found wealth at last. Sitting 
alone there in the solemn forest to rest, and possibly to think of the cruel destiny that 
had made his wife and children strangers to him and withered his last hope in the 
world, he had reached down and unconsciously pulled some grass from the earth, 
which unexpectedly laid bare to him glittering wealth, that he imagined would ransom 

138 OBEGON. 

a nation. Rich at last ! Now lie could go back to his family and a palace should 
take the place of their lost home. With the golden nugget clasped in his hand and 
with blood coursing through his veins responsive to a glimpse of the new life, an ex- 
cessive joy had summoned the death angel to still his beating heart. The happy spirit 
of the poor miner had passed with the flush of its new-born hope out into the dark 
unknown, leaving a lifeless corpse to guard the treasure, that coming too late, had 
killed the poor prospector with an excess of joy. 

The effect of the gold discovery was to turn emigration from the States to Cali- 
fornia, and Oregon passed for a time from the first to a second consideration in the es- 
timation of people as a country to move to or live in. Many of her citizens were 
temporarily in the gold fields and the years of 1848 and 1849 were consequently of 
less moment than what had preceded or followed them, and but for the Cayuse war and 
the formation of a territorial government, there would be but little to relate concerning 
them. It would seem that the last election, under the old regime of provisional Ore- 
gon government before this territory was clothed by Congress with a territorial garb, is 
properly inserted here, although space will not admit of a detailed history of such 
political events as its perusal naturally suggests. 


Governor — George Abernethy. 
Secretary — S. M. Holder ness l 
Treasurer — John H. Couch. 
Auditor of Public Accounts — George W. BeJl. 
Attorney-General — A. Lawrence Lovejoy. 
lerrilorial Auditor — Theophilus McGruder. 
Judge of Supreme Court — J. Quinn Thornton. 
Marshal — H. M. Knighton. 
Judge of Circuit Court — Alonzo A. Skinner. 



Kepresentative, *A. L. Lovejoyf 161 Representative, M. Crawford 77 

Eepresentative, *G. L. Curry 157 Representative, P. Welch 30 

Representative, *J. S. Snookf 143 Representative, William J. Bailey 24 

Representative, M. M. McCarver 128 Sheriff, * William Holmes 169 

Representative, J. R. Robb 100 Sheriff, T. J. Brown . . . 137 

Representative, J. P. Rogers 87 


Representative, * William J. Bailey 198 Representative, W. W. Chapman 42 

Representative, *Robert Newell. 188 Representative, William Shaw 10 

Representative, *A. Gaines 185 Representative, W. P. Pugh" 9 

Representative, * William Portius 156 Sheriff, *William Parker 200 

Representative, L. N. English 60 Sheriff, E. Dufriese 162 

Representative, W. H. Rector 58 Treasurer, *J. W. Vernon 29 

Representative, Rice Dunbar 51 

1 Dr. John B. Long was elected Secretary of Territory in June 1846, but was drowned in Clackamas river that year. Fred- 
erick Prigg was appointed to vacancy and was drowned in the same stream in 1847,and Samuel M Holderness was appointed to fill 
the vacancy, which he held until the organization of a territorial government, March 3, 1849. 

t Besigned. 

2 Partial returns only. 

OREGON. 139 


Representative, *Balph Wilcox 195 Representative, Elam Young 4 

Representative, *S. R. Thurston 155 Sheriff, *R. E. Wiley 213 

Representative, *P. H. Burnett 129 Treasurer, *J. W. Chambers, 113 

Representative, David Hill 18 


Representative, * William Martin 145 Representative, C. M. Walker 74 

Representative, °A. J. Hembree 112 Representative, Adam Smith 39 

Representative, *L. A. Rice 94 Sheriff, *J. G. Baker 168 

Representative, M. Gilmore 75 Sheriff, J. Minch 23 


Representative, *H. Linnville 85 Representative, A. Harvey 17 

Representative, *J. W. Nesmith 63 Representative, A. C. R. Shaw 13 

Representative, *Osborn Russell 58 Sheriff, *C. D. Embree 50 

Representative, J. Morin 54 Sheriff, J. B. Bounds 30 

Representative, M. A. Ford 46 Sheriff, J. M. Allen 24 


Representative, *A. F. Hedges 47 Representative, P. Foster 11 

Representative, *M. Crawford 40 Representative, R. V. Short 5 

Representative, Gabriel Walling 38 Representative, W. F. Good 3 

The bill giving Oregon a territorial form of government, after a struggle in the 
Senate so bitter and personal as to come near causing a duel between Senators Benton 
and Butler, was finally passed and signed on the last day of the session, August 14, 
1848. Joseph Lane of Indiana received the appointment as Governor who with Joe 
Meek came to the Pacific coast by the Southern route through Santa Fe and California 
with a military escort, all of whom deserted on the way except the officer and three 
privates. They reached Oregon City March 2, 1849, just in time for Governor Lane 
to issue a proclamation and give to Oregon her territorial form of government on the 
last day of James K. Polk's administration, thus crowning with a success the presi- 
dential effort put forth to settle the Oregon question. 


Governor— Joseph Lane; qualified March 3, 1849. 

Secretary — Kintzing Pritchett; 1 qualified April 9, 1849. 

Treasurer — James Taylor. 2 

Auditor — B. Gervais. 2 

Chief Justice — William P. Bryant; qualified April 9, 1849. 

Associate Justices — O. C. Pratt, qualified May 23, 1849, and P. H. Burnett. 

U. S. Marshal — Joseph L. Meek. 

Superintendent of Common Schools- -James McBride. 2 

Librarian — W. T. Matlock. 3 

Territorial Printer — Wilson Blain. 2 

Commissioner on Cayuse War Claims — A. A. Skinner. 3 

The Governor proceeded immediately to organize under the enabling act. He 
appointed census marshals and ascertained the following facts in regard to the country 
that was to send a Delegate to Congress. 

* Elected. 

t Special election held November 27, 1848, to fill vacancies. 

1 Acted as Governor from June 18, 1830, to September 1, 1850. 

2 Appointed in joint convention of Legislature September 27, 1849. 

3 Appointed at joint convention of Legislature September 29, 1849. 



CENSUS OF 1849. 


Tualatin . . 
Clatsop . . . 
Yamhill . . . 


Lewis .... 



Total 2601 2523 3627 

-. 6fi 

a o 











_, ® 

rH > 
<M O 

CO rrt 




c3 03 

3 on 

£ « 






to * 

03 03 

c3 c3 









15 211 

O cc 
CO 03 
03 bo 

2— i 










=3 *j 












!h . 

03 CO 

3 60 

2 O 







46 8795 298 9083 












He appointed the following named persons sheriffs of the several counties to serve 
until a Legislature should provide for the election of their successors : 


Yamhill county Andrew Shuck Appoint 'd May 25, 1849. 

Champoeg county William Gilliam Appointed May 25, 1849. 

Tualatin county Phineas Caruthers Appointed July 21, 1849. 

Yancouver county • William Ryan .Appointed September 8, 1849 

Clackamas county William Holmes Appointed October 22, 1849. 

Tualatin county William H. Bennett Appointed October 23, 1849. 

Polk county John Bowman Appointed October 25, 1849. 

Linn county Isaac Hutchen Appointed October 25, 1849. 

Lewis county A. J. Simmons Appointed October 25, 1849. 

The Governor called an election for June 6, 1849, to choose a Delegate to Con- 
gress which resulted as follows: 

Samuel R, Thurston received votes 470 

Columbia Lancaster received votes - 321 

James W. Nesmith received votes 104 

Joseph L. Meek received votes . . . , 40 

J. S. Griffin received votes 8 

Total votes for delegate 943 

The vote for members of the Legislature occurred at the same time and that body 
at its session in July provided for an election of county officers in the various counties 
to be held in October. The returns of both elections are contained in the following 



Councilman, *W. Blain 54 Representative, A. T. Smith 19 

Councilman, T. Stephens 23 Representative, H. Knighton 13 

Representative, *D. Hill 1 : 63 Representative, Elam Young 4 

Representative, *W. M. King 60 




Councilman, *W. W. Buck 73 

Councilman, Seth Catlin 51 

Joint Councilman, *S. Parker 3 54 

Joint Councilman, T. MeGruder 97 

Representative, *A. L. Lovejoy 119 

Representative, *J. D. Holman 1 114 

Representative, *Gabriel Walling 103 

Representative, G. L. Curry 66 

Representative, P. Foster 1 

Representative, S. Catlin 2 

Probate Judge, *A. Gordon 29 

Probate Judge, B. Cleaver 27 

Probate Judge, L. Whitcomb 24 

Clerk, *George L. Curry 43 

Sheriff, * William Holmes 43 

Treasurer, *J. D. Holman 28 

Assessor, * William Holmes 43 

School Commissioner, *G. H. Atkinson. ... 26 


Councilman, *W. Shannon * 183 

Councilman, G. Cline 46 

Joint Councilman, *S. Parker 2 205 

Joint Councilman, T. MeGruder '. . 29 

Joint Councilman, G. Cline 8 

Representative, *J. W. Grimi 220 

Representative, *W. W. Chapman 1 132 

Representative, *W. T. Matlock 1 128 

Representative, L. N. English 114 

Representative, E. H. Bellinger 113 

Probate Judge, *T. Crump 75 

Probate Judge, Benjamin Walden 51 

Probate Judge, Josner Brown 34 

Probate Judge, A. R . Dimick 26 

Probate Judge, J. M. Garrison 23 

Probate Judge, N. Shrum 17 

Clerk, *I. N. Gilbert 73 

Sheriff, * William Gilliam 58 

Sheriff, Z. Pollard 21 

Treasurer, *Aaron Purdy 30 

Treasurer, Samuel Walker 9 

Assessor, *A. A. Robinson 31 

Assessor, John Hunt 18 

School Commissioner, *David Prisley 31 

School Commissioner, James Walden 4 


Councilman, *S. F. McKean 25 Representative, R. M. Morrison . 

Councilman, R. Shortess 1 



Councilman, *J. B. Gravesi 91 

Councilman, C. M. Walker 42 

Representative, *A. J. Hembree 74 

Representative, *J. B. Walling 73 

Representative, *R. C. Kinney 56 

Representative, ~D. D. Bailey 50 

Representative, J. Rowland 48 

Representative, W. J Martin . . ". 27 

Representative, J. A. Cornwall 24 

Representative, W. T. Newby 16 

Representative, C. Ish 5 

Probate Judge, *E. Dodson 62 

Probate Judge, J. Comegys 51 

Probate Judge, L. Rogers 40 

Probate Judge, N. M. Creighton 28 

Probate Judge, Nelson 17 

Clerk, *A. S. Watt 54 

Clerk, A. Staates 12 

Sheriff, *A. Shuck 54 

Sheriff, J. Perkins 18 

Treasurer, *E Kennedy 49 

Treasurer, Sid Smith 26 

Assessor, *J. Clews 36 

Assessor, J. Fickle 12 

School Commissioner, *J. E. Lyle 48 

School Commissioner, E. Edson 15 


Councilman, *W. Maley 73 

Councilman, J. Burkhart 26 

Representative, *J. Dunlap 53 

Representative, *j. Conser 1 47 

Representative, H. J. Patterson 39 

Representative, J. Driggs 25 

Representative, B. Alpin 3 

Representative, S. H. Baber 1 

Probate Judge, *J. McCoy 28 

Probate Judge, Alexander Kirk 27 

Clerk, * William McCoy 28 

Clerk, J. Miller 18 

Sheriff, *J. Hutchins 28 

Sheriff, J. Meldrum 16 

Treasurer, *J. Bateman 27 

Treasurer, William Allphin 16 

Assessor, *N. D. Jack 28 

Assessor, John Crooks 17 

School Commissioner, *H. H. Spalding. ... 27 

School Commissioner, J. Burkhart 16 

J 9 

142 OREGON. 


Councilman, *N. Ford 52 Clerk, *H. M. Waller 29 

Representative, *H. N. V. Holmes 58 Sheriff, *J. Bowman 31 

Representative, *S. Burch 1 57 Sheriff, H. Linnville 15 

Probate Judge, *T. Lovelady 54 Assessor, *John Thorp 33 

Probate Judge, D. Lewis 1 50 Assessor, Alexander McCarty 23 

Probate Judge, W. M. Walker 28 School Commissioner, *H. M. Waller 29 


Councilman, J. McClure 21 Clerk, *J. R. Jackson 16 

Councilman, J. M. Chambers 9 Sheriff, *A. P. Simmons 18 

Representative, *M. T. Simmons l 28 Treasurer, *S. Plamonden 18 

Probate Judge. J. Burbee 18 Assessor, *I. Bushear 18 

Probate Judge, J. McAlister 18 School Commissioner, *M. T. Simmons. ... 18 

Probate Judge, S. Gill 17 


Councilman, *L. A. Humphrey 35 Clerk, *A. P. Lock 32 

Representative, *J. L. Mulkeyi 40 Sheriff, *Nelson Lock 32 

Representative, *G. B. Smith 1 36 Treasurer, *A. Fuller 32 

Probate Judge, *A. Richardson 32 Assessor, *A. L. Humphrey 32 

Probate Judge, John Floyd 32 School Commissioner, *J. L. Mulkey 32 

Probate Judge, J. C. Alexander 32 


Representative, * William Shaw 108 Representative, A. R. Dimick 24 


Councilman, *Richard Miller 6 80 Representative, *Daniel Waldo 10 

Councilman, A. J. Davis 12 Representative, James Campbell 9 

Councilman, John S. Hunt 10 Representative, John S. Hunt 3 


Representative, *Isaac Miller 59 Representative, William Parker 33 

Representative, * James Davidson 45 Representative, L. N. English 32 

The Legislature assembled at Oregon City, July 16, 1849, and during the session 
changed the names of three counties : that of Champoeg to Marion, Tualatin to Wash- 
ington, and Vancouver to Clark. In joint convention the two houses chose several 
persons to complete the list of territorial officers, and July 25 apportioned the territory 
into three judicial districts as follows: 

Fikst District — Clackamas, Marion, and Linn counties : William P. Bryant, 
judge; C. M. Walker, prosecuting attorney. 

Second District — Benton, Polk, Yamhill, and Washington counties : O. C. 
Pratt, judge; C. M. Walker, prosecuting attorney. 

Third District — Clark, Clatsop, and Lewis counties : David Stone, prosecuting 

This superseded Governor Lane's apportionment of the territory into three dis- 
tricts and his assignment of judges thereto, on the twenty-third of May prior to this. 

* Elected. 

1 Resigned. 

2 Joint Councilman from Clackamas and Champoeg counties. 

3 Name of Tualatin county changed to Washington. 

4 Namn changed to Marion. 

5 Special election to till vacancy. 

6 Elected to fill vacancy caused by resignation of W. Shannon. 

7 Election to fill vacancy caused by resignation of W. X. Matlock and W. W. Chapman. 
Clatsop, Lewis and Vancouver counties allowed one councilman and one representative jointly. 




Governor — John P. Gaines; assumed duties September 19, 1850. 

Secretary of Territory — Edward Hamilton; arrived in August 1850. 

Territorial Treasurer — James Taylor. 

Associate Justices — John McLean and William Strong; arrived in August, 1850. 

United States Attorney — Amory Holbrook; qualified November 4, 1850. 

United States Marshal — Joseph L. Meek. 

Collector of Customs — John Adair. 

Indian Agent — Henry H. Spalding; qualified October 12, 1850. 



Representative, *B. Simpson 154 

Representative, *W. T. Matlock 138 

Representative, *Hector Campbell 115 

Representative, A. L. Lovejoy 89 

Representative, W: R. Kilborn 72 

Representative Hiram Straight 66 

Probate Judge, J. Jeffrey 94 

Probate Judge, S. S. White 89 

Probate Judge, Israel Mitchell 66 

Clerk, F. S- Holland 73 

Sheriff, William Holmes 99 

Sherff, C. W. George 68 

Sheriff, R. V. Short 37 

Treasurer, H. Caufield 40 

Treasurer, J. B. Brooks 30 

Assessor, William Barlow 39 


Representative, * William Shaw 207 

Representative, * William Porter 198 

Representative, *E. H. Bellinger 1 178 

Representative, James Davidson 106 

Representative, Robert Newell 63 

Representative, W. H. Willson 61 

Probate Judge, J. M. Garrison 208 

Probate Judge, Jacob Conser 192 

Probate Judge, J. W. Grim 161 

Probate Judge, Rice Dunbar 73 

Probate Judge, W. H. Rees 66 

Probate Judg'e. T. Crump 27 


Probate Judge, Benjamin Walden 6 

Clerk, I. N. Gilbert 258 

Sheriff, W. J. Herren 227 

Sheriff, Zach Pollard 31 

Treasurer, J. B. McClain 168 

Assessor, H. A. Johnson 184 

Assessor, C. P. Chapman 52 

School Commissioner, E. H. Bellinger 9 

School Commissioner, J. B. McClain 7 

Coroner, William Gilliam 147 

Coroner, William M. Case 58 

Representative, *T. P. Powers 22 

Representative, A. P. Edwards 4 

Probate Judge, J. Hudson 18 

Probate Judge, D. Ingalls 13 

Probate Judge, W. H. Gray 11 

Probate Judge, B. H. Bierd 10 

Probate Judge, W. T. Perry 7 

Probate Judge, J. Robinson 6 

Probate Judge, P. Gearhart 4 

Clerk, R. McEwan 12 

Sheriff, D. E. Pease 19 

Treasurer, R. M. Morrison 21 

Assessor, H. Cornahan 15 

School Commissioner, L. Thompson 15 

Coroner, J. Champ 2 

Coroner, O. C. Motley 1 


Probate Judge, John McCoy 96 

Probate Judge, J. A. Dunlap 91 

Probate Judge, James Curl 91 

Probate Judge, Joseph Dickson 66 

Probate Judge, Jeremiah Ralston 26 

Clerk, William McCan 60 

Clerk, H. J. Patterson 58 

Sheriff, Isaac Hutchens 63 

Sheriff, L. C. Burkhart 61 

Treasurer, R. Claypool 82 

Assessor, N. D. Jock 78 

Assessor, J. McConnel 28 

School Commissioner, Henry H. Spalding. . 41 

Coroner, John Wilson 35 

Coroner, Joseph Hamilton 1\ 

144 OREGON. 


Councilman, *James McBride 143 Probate Judge, J. Rowland 66 

Representative, *M. P. Deady 114 Probate Judge, C. M. Walker 46 

Representative, *S. M. Grilmore 108 Probate Judge, L. Rogers 41 

Representative, *A. Payne 76 Probate Judge, John Corey 30 

Representative, R. Clark 54 Probate Judge, Jacob Shuck 8 

Representative, W. J. Martin .' 45 Clerk. A. S. Watt 122 

Representative, R. C. Kinney 31 Sheriff, Andrew Shuck 93 

Representative, J. B. Walling 7 Sheriff, H. Warren 56 

Probate Judge, Jocob Comeygs 90 Treasurer, E. Kennedy 102 

Probate Judge, E. Dodson 80 Assessor, J. G. Baker 131 

Probate Judge, A. J. Hembree 71 School Commissioner, J. E. Lyle 104 


Representative, *Wyman St. Clair 44 Sheriff, A. N. Locke 59 

Representative, *J. C. Avery 35 Treasurer, A. Fuller . 59 

Representative, John Starr 31 Assessor, S. F. Starr 44 

Representative, J. L. Mulkey 7 Assessor, J. Friedly 15 

Clerk, William Knott 59 


Representative, H. J. G. Maxon 21 Clerk, R. H. Lannsdale 25 

Probate Judge, A. M. Short 23 Sheriff, A. C. Bolan 22 

Probate Judge, William Goodwin 22 Treasurer, S. D. Maxon 22 

Probate Judge, J. C. Allen 22 Assessor, A. R. Williams 23 

Another special election in Marion county, occurring November 25 of that year, was held to 
fill a vacancy in the Legislature caused by the death of E. H. Bellinger, in which B. F. Harding 
received 128 votes and Robert Newell 92. In Yamhill county a special election was held May 4 to 
fill a vacancy in the office of councilman, in which Ransom Clark received 52 votes and Aaron 
Payne 35. 

«' Elected. 

Clatsop, Lewis, and Clarke counties were allowed one joint representative. 


Joseph Lane, having been superseded as Governor in 1850 by General John P. 
Gaines, became a candidate for Territorial Delegate to Congress in 1851, and in the 
election of June 2, that year, received 2,093 votes, his opponent Wm. H. Willson get- 
ting but 548. 

Delegate — Joseph Lane. 
Governor — John P. Gaines. 
Secretary — Edward Hamilton. 
Chief ■ Justice — Thomas Nelson. 

Associate Justices — O. C. Prattt and William Strong. 
U. S. Attorney — Amory Holbrook. 
U. S. Marshal— Joseph L. Meek. 

Treasurer — Levi A. Rice, 1 succeeded by John D. Boon. 2 
Auditor — F. S. Holland, 1 succeeded by William H. Willson. 2 
Librarian — J. D. Turner, 1 succeeded by Ludwel J. Rector. 2 
Printer — Asahel Bush. 2 

Commissioner on Cay use War Claims — Levi A. Rice, 1 succeeded by B. F. Harding: 2 
Prosecuting Attorney, first and second districts — J. D. Turner, 1 succeeded by R. P. Boise. 2 
Prosecuting Attorney, third district — George Gibbs, 1 succeeded by George Ebey:' 2 

1 Chosen by Legislature in joint convention January 21, 1851. 
2 Chosen by Legislature in joint convention December 16, 1851. 








Councilman, *A. L. Lovejoy 361 

Councilman, W. W. Buck 5 

Bepresentative, *George L. Curry 305 

Representative, *A. E. Wait 224 

Bepresentative, *W. T. Matlock 206 

Bepresentative, M. M. McCarver 135 

Bepresentative, M.Crawford 122 

Bepresentative, O. Bisley 5 

Probate Judge, H. Campbell 312 

Probate Judge, George Beese. 43 

Probate Judge, S. K. Barlow 39 

Treasurer, B. Caufield 287 

Treasurer, L. D. C. Latourette 61 

Assessor, D. Stewart 134 

Assessor, G. Trullinger 88 

Assessor, H. Baker 84 

County Commissioner, E. Lovett 304 

County Commissioner, B. Jackson 168 

County Commissioner, L. Trullinger 151 

County Commissioner, J. B. Price .... . . . 37 


Councilman, *J. M. Garrison 264 

Councilman, John S. Hunt 109 

Councilman, Allen J. Davis 6 

Bepresentative, *Benjamin Simpson 240 

Bepresentative, *Wilie Chapman 202 

Bepresentative, * James Davidson 183 

Bepresentative. H. A. Johnson 154 

Bepresentative, David Culver 132 

Bepresentative, E. I. E. Parrish 114 

Bepresentative, William Porter 99 

Bepresentative, Thomas Tetors 3 5 

Probate Judge, B. Walden 290 

Treasurer, J. D. Boon 174 

Treasurer, J. B. McClain 146 

Treasurer, Joseph Holman 73 

Assessor, N. Coffey 186 

Assessor, P. Glover 180 

Assessor, L. Coffey 8 


Joint Councilman, *Columbia Lancaster 3 .180 
Joint Bepresentative, *John Anderson 2 .... 127 

Joint Bepresentative, Philo Callender 46 

Joint Bepresentative, T. P. Powers 5 

Probate Judge, David Ingalls 42 

Probate Judge, J. W. Moffit 37 

Probate Judge, L. H. Judson 34 

Probate Judge, John Bobinson 10 

Clerk, C. J. Trenchard 93 

Clerk, Joshua Elder 21 

Treasurer, A. Van Dusen 40 

Treasurer, Bobert Morrison 34 


Assessor, W. W. Baymond 68 

Assessor, P. C. Davis 31 

Auditor, T. P. Powers 43 

Auditor, James Taylor 32 

County Commissioner, Joseph Jeffers 72 

County Commissioner, S. M. McKean 61 

County Commissioner, S. M. Hensill 29 

School Commissioner, S. H. Smith 55 

School Commissioner, S. M. Hensill 40 

School Examiner, John Adair 56 

School Examiner, Thomas I. Eckerson 1 

Councilman, *Matthew P. Deady 168 

Councilman, David Logan 106 

Bepresentative, *Samuel McSwain 162 

Bepresentative, *B. C. Kinney 137 

Bepresentative, *A. J. Hembree 116 

Bepresentative, E. T. Stone 106 

Bepresentative, C. M. Walker . . . . : 93 

Bepresen'ative, William T. Newby 66 

Bepresentative, Joel Perkins 30 

Bepresentative, Scattering 19 

Probate Judge, J. Bowland Ill 

Probate Judge, A. B. Elder 92 

Probate Judge, J. M. Frost 50 

Assessor, William Logan 137 

Assessor, Joseph Watt 63 

Assessor, J. G. Baker 24 

School Commissioner, B. N. Short' 4 

School Commissioner, B . Clark 2 

Coroner, B. Henderson 10 

School Examiner, E. B. Geary 2 


Bepresentative, *J. W. Drew . . .• 57 

Bepresentative, A. B. Flint 21 

Clerk, J. W. Huntington 38 

Clerk, Daniel Wells 18 

Clerk, E. B. Fisk 16 

Sheriff, H. Jacquett 73 

Treasurer, A. German 31 

Assessor, A. Pierce 37 

County Commissioner, B. J. Grubb 75 

County Commissioner, I. N. Hull 60 

County Commissioner, William Golden .... 60 




Representative, *J. S. Holman 150 

Eepresentative, *N. Ford '. . 98 

Representative, John Thorp 77 

Representative, H. N. V. Holmes 70 

Clerk, J. H. Lewis 68 

Clerk, J. E. Lyle 43 

Sheriff, F. M. Thorp 65 

Sheriff, A. J. Welch 63 

Sheriff, D. Lloyd . 34 

Sheriff, C. A. Williams 7 

Treasurer, A. C. R. Shaw 15 

A ssessor, S. Shelton 53 

Assessor, Z. Davis 52 

Assessor, A. V. McCarty 10 

School Commissioner, A. C. R. Shaw 17 

School Commissioner, Thomas Blair 8' 

Coroner, M. B. Belieu 23 

Coroner, A. C. R. Shaw 20 

School Examiner, A. C. R. Shaw 18 


Representative, *Luther White 122 

Representative, * William Allphin 107 

Representative, H. J. Patterson 94 

Representative, D. Turnidge 83 

Clerk, M. C. Chambers 180 

Treasurer, T. Monteith 47 

Treasurer, A Hyde 34 

Treasurer, J. Layton 24 

Assessor, J. A. Riggs 124 

Assessor, T. M. Ward 66 

Coroner, W. Monteith 47 

Coroner, C. Rice 37 

Coroner, J. Curl 3 


Representative, *J. C. Avery 89 

Representative, *George E. Cole 75 

Representative, John Starr 57 

Representative, J. L. Mulkey 18 

Sheriff, S. F. Starr 52 

Sheriff, J. N, Locke 46 

Treasurer, Wyman St. Clair 50 


Joint Councilman, *Columbia Lancaster ... 75 

Representative, *Lloyd Brooke 59 

Representative, H. J. G. Maxon 14 

Joint Representative, *D. F. Brownfieldi . . 5 

Sheriff, G. H. Ambrose 74 


Joint Councilman, *Columbia Lancaster ... 57 

Representative, *H. A. Goldsborough 52 

Representative, A. S. Abernethy 37 

Joint Representative, *D. F. Brownfield. . . 59 

Probate Judge, W. L. Fraser 47 

Probate Judge, T. M. Chambers 25 

Probate Judge, I. Burber ., 22 

Probate Judge, D. Stone 22 

Clerk, A. M. Poe 61 

Clerk, J. R- Jackson 44 

Clerk, W. L\ Vinson 24 

Sheriff, A.. J. Simmons 99 

Sheriff, William Conell 22 

Treasurer, E. D. Warbass 50 

Treasurer, D. Chambers 34 

Treasurer, S. Catlin 19 

Treasurer, S. Plamonden 17 

Assessor, N. Eaton 57 

Assessor, J. P. Friedley 40 

County Commissioner, John Stewart 38 

County Commissioner, James Watson 36 

School Commissioner, John Grimley 9 

School Examiner, F. B Gardner 12 

School Examiner, W. Blodget 11 

School Examiner, A. G. Hovey 6 


Treasurer, S. D. Maxon 73 

Assessor, William Ryan 71 

Auditor, William Hollingsworth 57 

County Commissioner, W. M. Simmons. ... 72 

Coroner, Sutton Carey 74 


Assessor, J. Broshens 46 

Assessor, L. P. Smith 22 

Assessor, N. Stone 5 

County Commissioner, J. B. Chapman 92 

County Commissioner, S. Catlin 81 

County Commissioner, W. P. Dougherty. . . 78 

County Commissioner, S. S. Ford 65 

County Commissioner, T. M. Chambers .... 33 

County Commissioner, I. Burber 22 

School Commissioner, J. McAlister 41 

School Commissioner, H. D. Huntington. . . 24 

School Commissioner, S. H. Williams 21 

School Commissioner, H. A. Goldsborough . 20 

Coroner, E. Sylvester 51 

Coroner, W. Packwood 34 

Coroner, N. Stone : 24 

Coroner, I. Burber 17 




Joint Councilman, *Columbia Lancaster ... 20 

Joint Representative, P. Callender 14 

Joint Representative, T. P. Powers 5 

Probate Judge, A. Jackman 21 

Probate Judge, J. M. Howe 20 

Probate Judge, J. Meldrum 18 

Clerk, J. G. Morse 19 

Sheriff, W. C. Holman 20 

Treasurer, J. D. Holman 20 

Assessor, J. Scudder 19 


Auditor, E. White 18 

County Cnmmissioner, J. Meldrum 21 

County Commissioner, J. M. Howe 20 

County Commissioner, G. P. Hopkins 19 

School Commissioner, G. P. Hopkins 15 

Coroner, W. Hall 20 

School Examiner, J. M. Howe 20 

School Examiner, A. Jackman 20 

School Examiner, P. G. Stewart 20 

* Elected to the Legislature - 

1 Lewis and Clarke counties elect one representative jointly. 

2 Clatsop and Pacific counties elect one representative jointly. 

3 Clatsop. Lewis, Clark and Pacific counties jointly elect one Councilman. 



Representative, *W. T. Matlock .302 

Representative, *A. E Wait . . 283 

Representative, *Lot Whitcomb 226 

Representative, George Reese 199 

Representative, R. R. Thompson 198 

Representative, H. Campbell 185 

Probate Judge, T. McGruder 232 

Probate Judge, S. K. Barlow 211 

Probate Judge, I. Cranfill 177 

Probate Judge, E. L. Quimby 163 

Clerk, F. S. Holland 327 

Sheriff, W. C. Dement 211 


Sheriff, William Holmes 207 

Treasurer, R. Caufield 401 

Assessor, C. F. Beaty 239 

Assessor, S. Huelat 186 

County Commissioner, William Meek 254 

County Commissioner, F. C. Cason 165 

School Examiner, H. Gordon 363 

School Examiner, Ezra Fisher 257 

School Examiner, J. B. Mills 240 

School Examiner, George Chandler 132 

School Examiner, Dr. Crosby. . „ 130 


Representative, *J. Mitchell 392 

Representative, *Benjamin Stark 350 

Representative, *M. Tuttle 342 

Representative, D. H. Belknap 314 

Representative, W. M. King 301 

Representative, J. Bonser 280 

Sheriff, W. H. Bennett 443 


Representative, *F. B. Martin 222 

Representative, *John Carey 201 

Representative, *J. Richardson 196 

Representative, R. C. Kinney 188 

Representative, Richard Miller 186 

Representative, J. C. Greer, Sr 182 

Clerk, E. R. Geary 223 

Clerk, A. R. Elder 147 

Sheriff, J. G. Baker 201 

Sheriff, Andrew Shuck 196 

Treasurer, J. H. Couch 403 

Assessor, R, E. Wiley 386 

School Commissioner, H. Lyman 377 

Coroner, AV. Warren 372 

School Examiner, H. Lyman 371 

School Examiner, C. Eells 371 

School Examiner, J. S. Griffin 366 


Treasurer, H. D. Martin 204 

Treasurer, A. J. Hembree 187 

Assessor, William Logan 235 

Assessor, R. V. Short 163 

County Commissioner, J. R. Young 206 

County Commissioner, J. B. Walling 201 

County Commissioner, T. J. Hubbard 188 

County Commissioner, E. T. Stone 171 

Coroner, J. S. Mclteeny 209 

Coroner, D. D. Bailey 182 

Representative, John R. Jackson 


. 36 Representative, S. Catlin 





Representative, *H. N. V. Holmes 179 

Representative, *Jarues M. Fulkerson 177 

Representative, John Thorp 147 

Representative, Nathaniel Ford 125 

Clerk, John H. Lewis 160 

Clerk, John E. Lyle 152 

Sheriff, B. F. Nichols. . ..." 149 

Sheriff, Robert Gilliam 101 

Sheriff, E. C. Dice 76 

Sheriff, Daniel Boon 9 

Treasurer, J. W. Nesmith 132 

Assessor, John Barrows 144 

Assessor, S. J. Gardner 106 

Assessor, S. Shelton 54 


Council, *A. L. Humphrey 144 

Council, E. Bristow 58 

Representative, *George E. Cole 105 

Representative, *J. C. Avery 103 

Representative, B. F. Chapman 93 

Representative, J. A. Burnett 62 

Probate Judge, A. N. Locke. 83 

Probate Judge, John Stewart 76 

Probate Judge, J. T. Fortson 73 

Probate Judge, James Watson 18 

Probate Judge, M. Hodges , 13 

Clerk, A. G. Hovey 122 

Clerk, J. H. Staten 68 

Treasurer, "William St. Clair 83 

Assessor, S. Carter 131 

Assessor, N. A. Starr 41 

County Commissioner, James Watson 150 

County Commissioner, A. N. Locke 99 

County Commissioner, H. C.Buckingham... 95 

County Commissioner, S. M. Stout 54 

County Commissioner, George Belknap .... 42 

County Commissioner, M. Hodges 28 

County Commissioner, A. Drawn 7 

Coroner, G. W. Bethers 21 

Coroner, A. Newton 4 

School Examiner, P. Ritz 16 

School Examiner, A. B. Hinton 13 

School Examiner, S. Newcomb 12 

School Examiner, W. Blodget 6 


Representative, *F. A. Chenoweth 61 

Representative, Lloyd Brooke 12 

Probate Judge, C. W. Dow 44 

Probate Judge, S. Bozereth 43 

Probate Judge, B. B. Bishop 42 

Probate Judge, T. I. Fletcher 32 

Probate Judge, J. C. Allmon 22 

Probate Judge, W. Henclrickson 18 

Probate Judge, H. Guliver 14 

Clerk, George P. Porter 35 

Clerk, William Ryan 21 

Clerk, Joseph Graham ■ • ■ ' . 14 

Sheriff, J. Willis 44 

Sheriff, A. J. Bolin 36 

Treasurer, S. D. Maxon 42 

Treasurer, J. F. Noble 31 

Assessor, Ira Patterson 79 

Auditor, H. Knapp 43 

Auditor, A. M. Short 34 

County Commissioner, W. H. Dillow 81 

County Commissioner, D. Sturgers 81 

Connty Commissioner, H. J. G. Maxon. ... 40 

County Commissioner, George Melrik 24 

Coroner, Joseph Kearney 16 

Coroner, M. Forr 2 


Councilmen, *Levi Scott 71 

Councilmen, J. W. Drew .' . 15 

Representative, *A. C. Gibbs 69 

Representative, B. Jeffries 13 

Representative E. R. Fisk 12 

Probate Judge, C. Applegate 86 

Probate Judge, William Sloan 84 

Probate Judge, W T illiam Allen 39 

Probate Judge, N. Allen 34 

Clerk, J. W. P. Huntington 44 

Clerk, J. L. Gilbert 42 

Clerk, Edward Gilbert 5 

Sheriff, H. Jacquette 66 

Sheriff, R. S. Belknap 26 

Treasurer, D. Wells 78 

Treasurer, J. Hudson 5 

Assessor, W. M. Barr. 44 

Assessor, W. A. Barr 32 

County Commissioner, W. F. Bey 77 

County Commissioner, William Golden .... 61 

County Commissioner, R. B. Morford 42 

Coroner, A. E. Royal 62 

Coroner, N. Lyons 17 




Council, *L. W. Phillips 208 

Council, W. B. Mealy 166 

Representative, *James Curl 230 

Representative, *Royal Cottle 208 

Representative, E. L. Walter 167 

Representative, H. J. Peterson 74 

Sheriff, George Cline 175 


Councilman, *A. L. Humphrey 71 Sheriff, L. Howe 

Councilman, E. Bristow 55 

Representative, *T. N. Aubery 79 

Representative, D. M. Risdon 50 

Probate Judge, W. R. Jones 55 

Probate Judge, Isaac Briggs 42 

Probate Judge, Benjamin Davis 41 

Probate Judge, W. H. Brice 32 

Probate Judge, James Peek 31 

Probate Judge, T. Cady 22 

Clerk, M. Harlow 60 

Clerk, E. F. Skinner 41 

Clerk, M. H. Harlow 12 

Sheriff, A. A. Smith 162 

Treasurer, T. Montieth 128 

Assessor, C. H. Crawford 205 

Assessor, T. A. Riggs 143 

Coroner, John Finley 25 

Coroner, J. J. Barrow 10 



Sheriff, P. F. Castleman 3 

Treasurer, F. McMuny 38 

Assessor, William Breeding 73 

Assessor, John Valley 35 

County Commissioner, James Davis 79 

County Commissioner, A. McDowell 51 

County Commissioner, H. Shaw 36 

County Commissioner, John Wooley 36 

County Commissioner, M. Wilkins 34 

County Commissioner, H. Hadley 23 

County Commissioner, H. G. Hadley 20 

Coroner, James Breeding 17 


Councilman, Jesse Applegate 114 

Councilman, *Levi Scott 77 

Representative, *J. R. Hardin 180 

Representative, W. G. T'Vault 101 

Probate Judge, Rice 196 

Clerk, C. Sims 182 

Clerk, H. Culver 100 

Clerk, D. C. Lewis 97 

Sheriff, R. S\ kes, 109 

Sheriff, A. E. Thompson 94 

Sheriff, E. Dean 86 

Treasurer, W. W. Fowler 97 

Treasurer, J. W. Patrick 39 

County Commissioner, J. Cluggage : 175 

County Commissioner, Evans Ill 

County Commissioner, Mooney 89 

County Commissioner, J. Skinner 88 

County Commissioner, Thomas Smith 56 


Councilman, Felix Scott 27 

Councilman, *Levi Scott 20 

Councilman, J. W. Drew . . .-. 17 

Representative, *E. J. Curtis 45 

Representative, W. J. Martin 30 

Probate Judge, S. Fitzhue 55 

Probate Judge, H. C. Hale 31 

Probate Judge, S. B. Briggs 30 

Probate Judge, G. S. Chapin 24 

Probate Judge, S. Gardiner 23 

Clerk, A. R. Flint 70 

Sheriff, F. R. Hill 37 

Sheriff, D. P. Barnes 31 

Treasurer, George Hannan 40 

Treasurer, G. S. Chapin 15 

Treasurer, Benjamin Grubb 6 

Assessor, C. W. Smith 29 

Assessor, Jesse Clayton 26 

County Commissioner, J. C. Danford 81 

County Commissioner, W. T. Perry 37 

County Commissioner, Thomas Smith 36 

County Commissioner, William Riddle .... 23 

County Commissioner, C. C. Reed 22 

County Commissioner, W. H. Riddle 14 

Coroner, C. Grover 32 

Coroner, W. K. Kilborn 26 

Sheriff, F. M. Hill 5 

In Pacific county nine votes cast for representative were for A. A. Denny, and* in Thurston 
county, which had been created by Act of January 12, 1852, I. N. Ebey was elected to the Legis- 
lature by 84 votes, his opponent F. S. Balch having received 51. Later A. A. Denney was a suc- 
cessful candidate for the Council, at a special election in the latter county, receiving 60 votes, his 
opponent S. Catlin getting but 30. Umpqua, Jackson, and Douglas counties were allowed one 
councilman jointly. Lewis and Clark counties were also allowed one representative jointly. 

* Elected to Legislature. 

2 Created by Act January 12, 1852. 

3 Created by Act January 7, 1852. 

150 OEEGON. 

The foregoing pages of election returns have been given in full for two reasons : 
First, to indicate the locality of and where population was most numerous, and second, 
as it names the men who were active in shaping the political events of their time. 
They were compiled from records, in the office of the Oregon Secretary of State, by 
J. Henry Brown, who kindly permitted us to use them, and thus for the first time 
they are placed as a whole before the public. 

Having in a general way glanced at the leading events following the discovery of 
the Pacific ocean ; having looked in upon the maritime struggle between the great 
powers, for discovery, occupation, and possession of it; having partially drawn the 
screen, that readers might get a glimpse at the plan adopted by the Romish church 
and Spain, to convert Indians in and colonize California, with the result ; having fol- 
lowed this, by a view along the line of contending interest that shadowed Oregon ; 
having traced the acts, struggles, and operations of her pioneer citizens, by which they 
saved to the Republic this vast, fair land ; having seen them fully organized politically, 
and moving on the highway to prosperity, with wealth flowing in, a legislative body, 
judicial system and executive power to protect it ; having traced it all in these pages, 
until this Oregon had gained so numerous a population scattered over a region so vast, 
that it was deemed advisable to segregate a portion equal in dimensions to an empire, 
out of which to create a new territory, it would seem the proper thing to close the 
annals of the elder for a time, and follow the destinies of that newly born Territory of 

GOV. ISAAC INGALLS STEVENS was a native of Andover, Mass., where he was born in 1817. He graduated 
at West Point in 1839, ranking first in his class, and was commissioned 2d Lieut, of Engineers. Rising to the rank of 1st 
Lieut, in 1840, he was employed upon the New England coast fortifications, I eing engaged in that duty as Adjutant at the out- 
break of the war with Mexico. Early in that conflict he became one of General Scott's staff, and was brevetted Captain and then 
Major, for gallant services at Contreras, Cherubusco, Chapultepec, and the storming of the City of Mexico. In this last battle 
he received a severe wound, from the effects of which he never fully recovered. At the close of that war he became chief of 
the Coast Survey, with headquarters at Washington, a position from which he resigned to accept the Governorship of Wash- 
ington Territory in 1853. His operations while Governor will be found in their proper place in this work. From 1857 to 1861 
he represented the Territory as Delegate to Congress. When the devastating wave of civil war swept over our countiy in 1861, 
he joined the Union army and became Colonel of the 79th New York Highland regiment; September 28 of the same year he 
was commissioned Brigadier General, and on the fourth of July, 1862, became Major General. On the first of September, 
within two months after receiving this commission (and we are informed, while President Lincoln was entertaining the proposi- 
tion of placing him in command of the Army of the Potomac,) he was shot in the temple and instantly killed at the battle of 
Chantilly, while leading his Highlanders in beating back the enemy from their pursuit of bur army after the defeat at Center- 
ville. The scene of his death is thus described by a correspondent of the New York Tribune of September 5, 1862: — " He 
saw that the Rebels must be beaten back at once, or during the night they would stampede the wagons and probably so discon- 
cert our retreat that the last division would fall a prey to their main force. He decided to attact immediately, at the same time 
sending back for supplies. Having made his disposition, he led the attack on foot, at the head of the Seventy-ninth (High- 
landers.) Soon meeting a withering fire — and the Color Sergeant, Sandy Campbell, a grizzled old Scotchman, being wounded 
— they faltered. One of the color guard to up the flag, when the General snatched it from him. The wounded Highlander at 
his feet cried, 'For God's sake, General, don't take the colors; they will shoot you if you do!' The answer was, ' If they don't 
follow now they never will,' and he sprang forward crying, 'We are all Highlanders; follow Highlanders ; forward my High, 
landers!' The Highlanders did follow the Scottish Chief, but while sweeping forward a ball struck him on the light temple, 
and he died instantly. An hour afterwards, when taken up, his hands were clenched still around the flag-staff. A moment 
after seizing the colors, his son Hazzard fell wounded, and cried to his father that he was hurt. With but a glance back, that 
Roman father said, 'I can't attend to you now, Hazzard ; Corporal Thompson, see to my boy.' " 



By the act of March 3, 1853, Congress set off the Territory of Washington from 
that of Oregon, and gave it a separate political existence. Oregon at that time con- 
tained 341,000 square miles, equal in area to the six great States of Indiana, Illinois, 
Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, by far too large for admission into the 
Union as a single State. Through it ran the great Columbia river, dividing it into 
nearly equal parts from the ocean to Fort Walla Walla, where it made a long sweep 
to the north and east. That portion of the Territory lying north and west of this 
great stream was called Northern Oregon, and within it were a number of small set- 
tlements, which included a population," Quite as great," declared Joseph Lane in Con- 
gress, "as was the whole of Oregon at the period of its organization into a Territory." 
In 1833 the fort at Nesqualy, near the head of Puget Sound, was located by the Hud- 
son's Bay Company, and soon after the Puget Sound Agricultural Company began to 
graze cattle and sheep in the vicinity, and to cultivate the lands. These were guarded 
by the stockade and buildings afterwards occupied by U. S. troops, and known as Fort 
Steilacoom. In 1838 the Rev. F. N. Blanchet and Rev. M. Demers, of the Society of 
Jesus of the Roman Catholic faith, established a mission at Fort Vancouver, and soon 
after one was located on Cowlitz prairie near a post that had been established by the 
Hudson's Bay Company. In 1839 the Methodists by Revs. David Leslie and W. H. 
Wilson, and the Catholics by Father Demers, each established a mission at Nesqualy. 


It was the desire of Great Britain to have the Columbia river declared the bound- 
ary line between its possessions and those of the United States. To this end efforts of 
the Hudson's Bay Company were directed, and they looked with disfavor upon the 
making of any settlements, north of that stream, by Americans. Nevertheless, in 
1844, Col. M. T. Simmons made an unsuccessful attempt to reach Puget Sound, having 
crossed the plains the year before. In 1845, with a few companions, he renewed his 
effort, and located at the head of the Sound, where the De Chutes river empties into 
Budd's Inlet. Their little settlement was called New Market, now the town of Tum- 
water, but a mile from Olympia. To this, no active opposition was made by the com- 
pany ; and in the few following years many other Americans located along the Cow- 
litz and other streams, and about the head of the Sound. 

June 27, 1844, the Oregon Provisional Government, designated all the Territory 
north and west of the Columbia, Vancouver county ; but owing to the settlements 
alluded to, that portion lying west of the Cowlitz was made Lewis county ; and the 
name of Clarke was given to Vancouver county in 1849. By the census of 1850 
these counties were reported as follows : 

Population. Clarke. Lewis. Total. 

Population 1201 

Number of families 95 146 241 

Children between 5 and 20 98 91 189 

Attending school 11 23 34 

Number of farms 7 55 62 

Acres improved 3,705 13,441 17,146 

Acres unimproved 16,935 35,804 52,739 

Horses 507 867 1,374 

Neat cattle 1,816 5,577 7,393 

Sheep 1,120 10,208 11,328 

Swine 569 997 1,576 

Bushels of wheat 1,050 10,755 11,805 

Bushels of rye and oats 900 ... 5,850 6,750 

Bushels of potatoes 5,550 27,347 32,897 

Pounds of wool 18,150 

Pounds of butter and cheese 200 2,644 2,844 

Value of land and improvements $215,480 $287,285 $502,765 

Capital invested in manufactures 110,000 80,000 190,000 

Annual product of manufactures 251,500 71,200 322,700 

Hands employed 40 29 69 

Captain Lafayette Beach founded Steilacoom in January, 1851. In February of 
the same year Pacific county was created, because of the thriving settlements of Pacific 
City and Chinook that had sprung up on the north bank of the Columbia, near its 
mouth. In April, 1851, Port Townsend was located. Congress established the Puget 
Sound Collection District February 14, 1851, and a custom house was located during 
the year at Olympia, then the only town on the Sound. On the third of November, 
1851, the sloop Georgiana, Captain Rowland, sailed with twenty-two passengers for 
Queen Charlotte's Island, where gold had been discovered. On the nineteenth the 
vessel was cast ashore on the east side of the island, was plundered by the Indians, and 
the crew and passengers were held in captivity. Upon receipt of the news, the Col- 
lector of Customs at Olympia, dispatched the Damariscove, Captain Balch, with a force 


of volunteers and U. S. troops from Fort Steilacoom, which had been garrisoned after 
the treaty of 1846. The schooner sailed on the eighteenth of December, and returned 
to Olympia with the rescued men the last day of January, 1852. 

In 1852 a superior article of coal was found, something much needed on the coast, 
and capital was at once invested in developing the mines. Three saw mills were built 
on the Sound; and during the year quite extensive shipments of coal, lumber and fish 
were made. Many claims were taken up on the fine agricultural lands, and all the ele- 
ments for a vigorous growth were collected here. The chief settlements then in Northern 
Oregon were: Pacific City; Vancouver, the Hudson's Bay Company headquarters, con- 
sisting of 100 houses occupied by its employes, chiefly Kanakas, enclosed by picket 
fences, and defended by armed bastions and a blockhouse ; Forts Walla Walla, Okina- 
gan and Colville, further up the Columbia ; Olympia, a new town on the Sound ; Fort 
Nesqualy on the Sound, occupied by the Puget Sound Agricultural Company, who 
owned extensive farms and supplied provisions to the Hudson's Bay Company, besides 
shipping products to the Sandwich Islands and the Russian post at Sitka. These with 
many settlements along the Sound and between it and the Columbia, formed a section 
distinct from Oregon proper, with which they had no community of interest, and from 
whom, being in the minority in the Legislature, they were unable to obtain many of 
the rights they deemed themselves entitled to. Many of them were 500 miles from 
the seat of the territorial government. 

In September, 1852, the Columbian began publication in Olympia, and advocated 
the formation of a new territory, expressing the wish of a majority of the people in 
the Sound country. As to those east of the Cascades, they were so few in number, 
most of them belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, that they cared little about the 
matter. A convention of delegates from counties north of the river met at a little set- 
tlement on the Cowlitz called Monticello, to consider the question, November 25, 1852. 
A memorial to Congress was prepared, stating the condition of this region and asking that 
body to create the Territory of Columbia, out of that portion of Oregon lying north and 
west of the Columbia river. There was no conflict in this matter, the people of Oregon 
south of the river raising no objection to the proposed change. In fact, Delegate Joseph 
Lane, living in Southern Oregon and elected by the votes of that section, procured the 
passage of the bill in Congress. He first introduced the subject on the sixth of De- 
cember, 1852, by procuring the passage of a resolution instructing the Committee on 
Territories to consider the question and report a bill. The committee reported House 
Bill No. 8, to organize the Territory of Columbia, which came up on the eighth of 
February, 1853. Mr. Lane made a short speech and introduced the citizens' memorial 
signed by G. N. McCanaher, president of the convention. R. J. White, its secretary, 
and Quincy A. Brooks, Charles S. Hathaway, C. H. Winslow, John R. Jackson, D. S. 
Maynard, F. A. Clarke, and others. Richard H. Stanton, of Kentucky, moved to 
substitute the name of " Washington" for " Columbia," saying that we already had a 
District of Columbia while the name of the father of our country had been given to 
no territory in it. With this amendment the bill was passed through the House on 
the tenth with 128 votes for and 29 ag dnst it. On the second of March, it was 
adopted by the Senate and received the President's signature the following day. 

The Act created a territory more than twice the size asked for in the memorial, 


being "All that portion of Oregon Territory lying and being south of the forty-ninth 
degree of north latitude, and north of the middle of the main channel of the Col- 
umbia river, from its mouth to where the forty-sixth degree of north latitude crosses 
said river near Fort Walla Walla, thence with said forty-sixth degree of latitude to 
the summit of the Rocky mountains." This included all of Washington Territory as 
it now stands, and a portion of Idaho and Montana. The Act was in the usual form 
creating territories, and provided for a Governor, to be ex officio Commander-in-Chief 
of Militia and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, a Secretary, a Supreme Court of 
three judges, an Attorney, and a Marshal, all to be appointed by the President for a 
term of four years. It also called for a Delegate to Congress, whose first term was to 
last only during the Congress to which he was elected. A Territorial Legislature was 
created, with two branches — a Council with nine members and a term of three years, 
the first ones to serve one, two and three years as decided by lot among them ; and a 
House of eighteen members, with a term of one year, to be increased from time to time 
to not more than thirty. Twenty thousand dollars were appropriated to defray the 
expenses of a census, after the taking of which the Governor was to apportion the 
members of the Legislature and call an election to choose them and the Delegate to 
Congress. The first Legislature was to meet at any place the Governor might select, 
and was then to fix the seat of government itself; $5,000 were apportioned for public 
buildings, and the same amount for a library. County and local officers then serving 
were to hold their positions until successors were chosen under Acts to be passed by 
the Legislature of the new territory. Causes were to be transferred from the Oregon 
courts, and the territory was to be divided into three districts, in each of which one of 
the Supreme Judges was to hold a district court. Sections 16 and 36 of the public 
lands, or their equivalent, were given the territory for the benefit of public schools. 

Soon after his inauguration President Pierce appointed Maj. Isaac I. Stevens, 
United States Engineers, Governor ; Charles H. Mason, of Rhode Island, Secretary ; 
J. S. Clendenin, of Mississippi, Attorney ; J. Patton Anderson, of Tennessee, Marshal ; 
Edward Lander, of Indiana, Chief Justice ; Victor Monroe, of Kentucky, and O. B. 
McFadden, of Pennsylvania, Associate Justices. Marshal Anderson arrived early in 
the summer, and took the census provided for in the Act, returning a total population 
of 3,965, of whom 1,682 were voters. Governor Stevens was in charge of the expedition 
sent out by the War Department to survey a northern route for a trans-continental 
railroad, and was thus occupied all the summer and fall. Upon crossing the bound- 
ary line of the new territory September 29, 1853, he issued a proclamation from the 
summit of the Rocky mountains, declaring the Act of Congress and assuming his 
duties as executive. He arrived in Olympia in November, and on the twenty-eighth 
issued a second proclamation, dividing the territory into judicial and legislative dis- 
tricts and calling an election the following January. Until this time the counties 
north of the Columbia had constituted the Second Judicial District of Oregon, 
William H. Strong, Associate Justice, presiding. They were Clarke, Lewis, Pacific, 
Thurston, Pierce, King, and Jefferson, all but the first three having been created by 
the Oregon Legislature during the session of 1852-3. 






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Urban E. Hicks 
John M; Murphy 

J. G. Sparks 

S. Porter 

John M. Murphy 

John R. Wheat. 

Thomas M. Reed 

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William Cock 

William Cock 

D. Phillips 

Benjamin Harned. 
James Tilton 
Benjamin Harned. 

Hill Harmon 

J. H. Munson. . . . 

E. T. Gunn 

Francis Tarbell . . . 

Thomas N.Ford.. 








James Tilton 

A. G. Henry 

S. Garfielde 

E. P. Ferry 

L. P. Beach 


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J. P. Anderson. .. 
G. W. Corliss . . 
Charles E. Weed.. 

Wm. Huntington. 

Philip Ritz 

E. S. Kearney 

Charles Hopkins. . 

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J. S. Clendenin. .. 

J. 8. Smith 

B. P. Anderson . 
J. J. McQilvra.... 

Leander Holmes. . 

Sarn'l 0. Wingard. 
John B. Allen .... 

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0. B. McFadden. . 

E. C. Fitzhugh... 
E. P. Oliphant.... 

C. B. Darwin 

B. F. Dennison. . . 

Orange Jacobs.... 

Roger S. Greene. . 

John P. Hoyt 










Victor Monroe . . . 
F. A. Chenowith. . 

William Strong. .. 
J. E. Wyche 

James K. Kennedy 

J. R. Lewis. . . .. 
S. C. Wingard.... 


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Edward Lander . . 

0. B. McFadden.. 
C. C. Hewitt 

B. F. Dennison. . . 
William L. Hill.. 
Orange Jacobs . . . 

Roger S. Greene. . 



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Charles H. Mason. 

H. M. McGill .... 

L. J. S. Turney... 
El wood Evans. . . . 

E. L. Smith 

James Scott 

J. C. Clements.. . . 
Henry G. Struve. . 

N. H. Owings, . . 






Isaac I. Stevens.. . 

Fayette McMullen 

R. H.Gholson. .. 

Wm. H. Wallace.. 
William Pickering 

George E. Cole 

Marshall F. Moore 

Alvan Flanders. ... 
E. S, Salomon.. . 


William A. Newell 

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A. S. Abernethy, Am.. . . 


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Isaac I. Stevens, Dem.. . 
William H. Wallace 
















































William H.Wallace, Eep 
Salucius Garfielde, U. D. 
Edward Lander, Dem . . . 






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561 37 

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George E. Cole, Dem... . 
J. 0. Raynor, Union. . . 
L. J. S. Turney, Ind. . . 



































































A. A. Denny, Union 

James Tilton, Dem 



















Alvan Flanders, Union . . 
Frank Clark, Dem 





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James D . Mix. Dem 

Marshall Blinn, Ind 


Salucius Garfielde, Rep.. 
0. B. McFadden, Dem.. 










































































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Orange Jacobs, Rep. . 
B. L. Sharpstein, Dem. . 








Orange Jacobs, Rep 














Thomas H. Brents, Rep. 
N. T. Caton. Dem 






















For the Constitution 

Against the Constitution 






















Thomas H. Brents, Rep 
Thomas Burke, Dem. . . . 









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The first legislative body assembling in the Territory of Washington created six- 
teen counties, among which was Walla Walla, with the following as its boundaries: 
Commencing its line on the north bank of the Columbia, at a point opposite the mouth 
of Des Chutes river, it ran thence north to the forty-ninth parallel ; and took in all 
of Washington Territory between this line and the Rocky mountains. It included 
what now is northern Idaho and northern Montana, most of Klikitat and Yakima 
counties, and all of Stevens, Spokane, Whitman,' Columbia, Garfield, and Walla Walla 

The want of population within this immense area, rendered necessary its attach- 
ment to Skamania county (which lay directly to the west) for judicial purposes ; and 
included it in the first judicial district, to which Judge Obadiah B. McFadden was as- 
signed. In connection with Skamania and Clarke counties, it was allowed one member 
in the Legislative Assembly ; the county seat being located by the act " on the land 
claim of Lloyd Brooke," the old Whitman mission. 

That first Legislature, of 1854, closed its efforts for Walla Walla county in the 
following words : " That George C. Bumford, John Owens, and A. Dominique Pam- 
brun be, and they are hereby constituted and appointed the Board of County Commis- 
sioners ; and that Narcises Remond be, and is hereby appointed sheriff; and that 
Lloyd Brooke be, and is hereby appointed Judge of Probate, and shall have jurisdic- 
tion as Justice of the Peace ; all in and for the county of Walla Walla." Some of 
these officials never knew of the honor that had been cast at their feet ; and Mr. Pam- 
brun, in 1882, insisted to the writer, that hitherto he had been ignorant of this early 
application to himself of Shakespeare's fancy, when he wrote that, " Some are born 
great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." None of 
these parties acted officially in the positions to which they were chosen ; and their ap- 
pointment, in a region including less than a dozen American citizens outside of those 
employed by the missionaries, was a legislative absurdity. 

The farcical form of extinguishing the Indian title. to any portion of this section 
had not yet been enacted, and but little inducement up to this time, had developed for 
it. The acquisition of land presented limited attraction to men for settling in the 
region lying between the Rocky and Cascade mountains north of the forty-sixth par- 


allel, when it could be had for the taking nearer the centers of civilization. A greater 
loadstone was needed to draw white men to the country, than a meagre opportunity 
to gain a title to the soil from a government that did not possess it, when to do so 
would possibly consign the seeker to a Whitman's fate. As yet, the Indian was com- 
paratively secure in his Walla Walla home, for the white man had met with little 
temptation at this time to take it from him. It was a state of things doomed to a brief 
existence, however, for there lay concealed in her mountain gulches and streams that 
which, when found, would furnish a motive to signal the beginning of an end to their 
occupation of the country. 

The ensuing January (in 1855) the Territorial Legislature essayed once more to 
organize this county, comparatively void of any but an Indian population, and, on the 
twenty-fourth of that month, by statute, 1 the following named became its officers : 

Probate Judge — Lloyd Brooke. 

County Auditor — Lloyd Brooke. 

County Treasurer^Lloyd Brooke. 

County Sheriff — Shirley Ensign. 

Justice of Peace — George C. Bumford. 

County Commissioners — John Owens, George C. Bumford, John F. Noble. 

Walla Walla county was also authorized to elect two representatives to the Terri- 
torial Legislature. Under this appointment none of the gentlemen qualified, and the 
county organization was forced to continue its embryo existence; but the time for an 
awakening and a change had come. 


In March, about two months after the passage of this official appointment act, 
gold was discovered in the Pend d'Oreille or Clarke's river where it empties into the 
Columbia. The discoverer, a half-breed named Wau-ka, was a resident of French 
Prairie, Oregon. He returned to the Willamette valley with specimens to exhibit and 
aid in causing his tale of a new El Dorado found, to create a sensation west of the 
Cascade mountains. No one knew better than Gov. I. I. Stevens the probable result 
of a gold excitement, and he hastened to enter into treaties with the various Indian 
tribes, whose quiet was likely to be disturbed by a rush of whites through, or into, 
their country. Accordingly, on the ninth of June, 1855, three months after gold was 
discovered, he procured the signing of treaties with seventeen tribes, ceding to our gov- 
ernment all of the country, except the present Umatilla and Yakima reservations, 
embraced within the following limits : Commencing on the Columbia river between 
White Salmon and Wind rivers near the Cascades; thence northerly along the ridge 
of the Cascade range to a j)oint near the line of the British possessions, where the 
waters divide between Methow and Lake Chelan rivers; thence southeasterly, crossing" 
the Columbia river a few miles below Fort Okinagan; from where the average direc- 
tion was continued southeasterly to the head waters of Palouse river. Thence the di- 
rection was southerly to the mouth of Tukannon creek, up which the line ran to its head- 
waters ; thence to the ridge of the Blue mountains, down which southwesterly the line 

1 Statutes of 1854 and 1855, page 36. 


continued to Powder river in Union county, Oregon ; thence northwesterly to Willow 
creek, clown that stream to its mouth in the Columbia river; from where the line ran 
down the Columbia to the place of beginning. 

The area thus lost to the Indians was a little over 29,000 square miles, or a trifle 
of a few hundred thousand acres more than is contained in a tract 138 miles wide by 
210 long, for which they were to be paid as follows: The fourteen tribes termed the 
" Yakima Nation," including the Palouse Indians, all of whom lived north of the 
Columbia and Snake rivers, with Kama-i-akun as head chief, were to be given $200,000. 
This was to be paid in yearly installments, during the first five $10,000, the next five 
$8,000, then $6,000 for five years, and for the last five $4,000 were to be paid annually, 
payments to commence in September, 1856. This left $60,000, which were to be ex- 
pended in getting these tribes on to their reservation, for fitting it up and to aid them 
in learning the art of husbandry. In addition to this the head chief of the nation was 
to have a house built for him,' with ten acres of land inclosed and plowed, and he was 
to be paid $500 per year for twenty years as a salary. To the Indians generally this 
was a glittering temptation, but Kama-i-akun was hostile to the transaction and used his 
influence against it without avail. From that time until his death, he was never friendly 
to the whites, and later, withdrew from the war-path against them only for want of fol- 
lowers. Fourteen chiefs in all signed this agreement, among whom was the unwilling 

The Walla Wallas, Cayuses and Umatillas occupied the country bounded on the 
east and south by the Tukannon creek and Blue mountains, on the west by Willow 
creek and north by the Columbia and Snake rivers. They were to be paid $100,- 
000 for their birth-right, with a twenty years annuity of $500 to the head chief of 
each of those tribes. But for the stain upon their hands of the blood of a murdered 
Whitman, these three tribes would not have sold their country to the whites. The 
Cayuses, remembering that scene of butchery at the mission in 1847, believed the 
spirits of the murdered whites were Cay use banshees bringing misfortune upon their 
tribe, and they yielded. The Umatillas knowing they were not guiltless in that affair, 
and looking to the reward offered for compliance, placed their names to the treaty. 
The Walla Wallas, too weak for resistance, reluctantly joined in the transfer of their 
homes, and thirty-six chiefs from among the three tribes, signed the conveyance. 
Peu-peu-mox-mox, chief of this last mentioned tribe, was sullen, and would not talk. 
He remembered that his own son had been educated at the mission ; had visited Cali- 
fornia by invitation of Capt. J. A. Sutter ; that he had been as wantonly and mali- 
ciously murdered while in that gentleman's fort, as had been Dr. Whitman among 
the Cayuses, and he no longer courted their friendship or believed in their prom- 
ises. A special clause was placed in the treaty giving this chief permission to build 
a trading post at or near the mouth of the Yakima river, which he could occupy for 
five years and trade with whites going to the mines. He was to be paid his first year's 
salary on the day he signed the treaty, and the other chiefs had to wait. A house was 
to be built for his living son, around which five acres of land were to be plowed and 
inclosed, and he was to be paid annually one hundred dollars for twenty years. In 
addition to all this, Peu-peu-mox-mox was to be given within three months, " three 
yokes of oxen, three yokes and four chains, one wagon, two plows, twelve hoes, twelve 


axes, two shovels, one saddle and bridle, one set of wagon harness, and one set of plow 
harness." None of the other chiefs received promise of like privileges or payments, 
and it is a striking evidence of the necessity that existed for obtaining the influence of 
this evident leader among the tribes at the council. 

Within six months from that time he was captured by the whites under a flag of 
truce ; was killed while a prisoner ; his hands, ears, and scalp were sent to Oregon as 
war trophies: and, after burial, his skull was dug up and broken in pieces for distri- 
bution as souvenirs of what f 

The two treaties were signed on the ninth of June, 1855, at Camp Stevens 
within the limits of what now is Walla Walla city. Then the Governor, and Joel 
Palmer the Oregon Indian agent, opened negotiations with the Nez Perces, who had 
been present since the gathering of the tribes at this great council. On the eleventh 
of that same month these old and tried friends of the Americans, who had been one of 
the strong powers to influence the other tribes to cede their lands in the two treaties of 
the ninth, conveyed their immense domain to our government, withholding a rather 
extensive reserve. Their territory, about one-fourth of which was retained, included 
over 18,000 square miles; and they were to be paid for it in annuities through a 
term of twenty years, a total of $200,000. In addition, the head chief was to be paid 
$500 per year for twenty years, and the tribe was to receive other benefits tending 
towards civilization. Fifty-eight chiefs signed it, among whom were Lawyer, Looking 
Glas and Joseph. 

At the close of this council at Walla Walla, which would probably have proved 
a slaughter instead of treaty-ground for the whites, had it not been for the friendship 
of the Nez Perces, Governor Stevens started for Colville accompanied by a few Ameri- 
cans and a body-guard from this tribe. The Indians in that region refused to sell 
their lands. The Governor passed over the Bitter Root range of mountains and con- 
cluded a treaty with the Flat Head Nation on the sixteenth of July, by which they 
ceded over 20,000 square miles of territory to the government, less a reservation 
The tribes constituting the Flathead Nation included the Flathead, Kootenai, and 
Upper Pend d'Oreilles. In addition to the $200,000 there was to be a $500 salary 
paid to the head chief of each of those tribes annually for twenty years, and the other 
usual advances to the nation for educational and agricultural purposes. Over this 
nation the Catholic missionaries had an almost unlimited control, and, had they 
opposed it, no treaty could have been effected. From among the Flatheads Governor 
Stevens passed beyond the Rocky mountains to treat with the Blackfeet, where for the 
present, we will leave him and follow the course of events in the Columbia river 

When the treaties had been signed at the Walla Walla council and Governor 
Stevens had started north, Joel Palmer returned to the Dalles, where he induced the 
three bands of Wascoes, the Lower De Chutes, Upper De Chutes, Tenino and John 
Day River Walla Wallas, to cede their lands to the government on the twenty-fifth 
of June, for $150,000. Payment was to be divided into annuities that would reach 
that amo.unt in twenty years, with salaries to chiefs and advances for improvements, 
similar to those contained in the other treaties. The land ceded by these five tribes, from 
which should be deducted their reservation, included over 16,000 square miles. 

ggjj lip 








In each of the treaties was inserted the following clause : " This treaty shall be ob- 
ligatory upon the contracting parties as soon as the same shall be ratified by the Presi- 
dent and Senate of the United States." None of them were ratified by the United 
States Senate until March 8, 1859. None of the ceded territory was open legally for 
white settlement until the government had accepted it from the Indians by such rati- 
fication; and the treaties were binding upon neither party prior to this event. 

This wholesale attempt to take these lands from the tribes naturally stirred up 
among them a wide-spread feeling of dissatisfaction. The chiefs had signed it away, 
but had done so reluctantly; and then had left the great council ground sullen and 
dissatisfied, to go among their people and tell them what had transpired. At the same 
time gold seekers had commenced to traverse the country on their way from east of the 
Cascades to the Colville mines. This served as an element of excitement to stir up 
the already fermenting feeling of hostility among the Indians, whose leaders could see 
as plainly as could the whites, that it was the beginning of the end of their race. The 
young braves asked to be led against their natural enemies, and, as the head chiefs 
could give no satisfactory answer to their demand, the result that followed was inev- 


On the twenty-second of September, 1855, in the absence of Governor Stevens 
from the capital on his treaty expedition east of the Rocky mountains, C. H. Mason, 
the acting Governor, wrote to Major G. J. Raines in command of the regulars, that he 
had just learned of the murder of a man named Mattice by the Yakima Indians. The 
murdered man was a resident of Olympia, and had been killed on his way to the Col- 
ville mines, when traversing the country occupied by that tribe. Seven others were 
reported killed; and as some thirty persons from the vicinity of Seattle were known 
to be passing through that region, in parties of from two to four, the Major was asked 
to send a military force to protect them and punish the aggressors. Four days later, 
Governor Mason addressed Major Raines at Fort Vancouver, notifying him that on 

the fourteenth of September two citizens of Olympia, named Walker and 

Jameson had been shot by Yakima Indians, from an ambush near where the Natchess 
trail crossed the Yakima river. The communication further states as follows: 

" This tribe and its kindred branches having entered into treaty stipulations with the United 
States to preserve amity with all American citizens, and in defiance of such obligations having taken 
the first opportunity to cut off straggling parties, I immediately upon receipt of the last informa- 
tion, made a requisition upon Capt. M. Maloney, commanding Fort Steilacoom, for a detachment 
of the troops under his command, to proceed as soon ,as possible to the point in question, both to 
punish the Yakima tribe, and to furnish protection to such persons as may be traveling through 
that country. This requisition has been complied with, and on Thursday (September 27), a de- 
tachment of forty men, with forty days' provisions will start, under command of Lieutenant W. A. 
Slaughter. In order more fully to carry out the objects intended and to effect permanent results, I 
have to request that the suggestion in my letter of September 22, be carried out and that a de- 
tachment of troops be sent either from Vancouver or the Dalles, as soon as possible to co-operate 
with those sent from Steilacoom." 


The following is the reply of Major Raines to this communication, and thus the 
war of 1855 and 1856 was inaugurated. 1 

" Governor — Your letter by Mr. Pearson I have the honor to acknowledge, and have ordered 
into the field, a company of eighty-four men from Fort Dalles, O. T., all mounted, and with provi- 
sions on pack mules for one month, to proceed without delay and sweep through tue Yakima 
country to the points you indicated, co-operating with the force from Steilacoom; also, to inquire 
into the safety of Agent Bolan, who has now been absent an unusual length of time; a respectful 
attention to whose views are enjoined —if alive — for there are grounds to fear otherwise. 

" I shall approve of the action of the commanding officer at Fort Steilacoom in the premises, 
and only regret that the forty men under Lieutenant Slaughter were not a full company. I have 
also located an officer and twenty men at the Cascades." 

In the meantime the Indian Agent A. J. Bolan had been brutally murdered; but 
his fate was yet an uncertainty, when Major G. O. Haller marched north into the hos- 
tile region from the Dalles, October 3, with five officers, one hundred and two men and 
a mountain howitzer, to co-operate with Lieutenant Slaughter from Fort Steilacoom. 
On the sixth of October, his command met the Indians in force on the Simcoe creek, 
and, after a temporary success, in which by a charge they dislodged the enemy from 
the brush along that stream, were forced to abandon it and take to an adjacent hill. 
Here the troops were surrounded, but Major Haller succeeded in sending a courier back' 
to Vancouver for reinforcements. Before assistance could reach him, his command 
met with a disastrous repulse and were driven out of the Indian country with serious 


Immediately upon receipt of the dispatch announcing the reverse, Major 
Bains requested acting Governor Mason to furnish two companies of volunteers to as- 
sist in chastising the enemy. On the same day, October 9, he addressed Gov. George 
L. Curry of Oregon as follows: 

"Governor:" * * * "This morning, Lieut. Day, of Artillery, leaves 

Fort Dalles to join Maj. -Haller 's command with about 45 men and 1 mountain howitzer. 

" As commanding officer, I have ordered all the United States disposable force in this district 
into the field immediately, and shall take the command. 

" As this force is questionable to subdue these Indians — the Yakimas, Klikitats, and may be 
some other smaller bands — T have the honor to call upon you for four companies of volunteers, 
composed according to our present organization of 1 captain, 1 first lieutenant, 1 second lieutenant, 
4 sergeants, 4 corporals, 2 musicians, and 74 privates. This number of companies is just enough 
for a major's command, and would authorize that officer also. 

" We have only arms enough at this post for two companies — so it is advisable to have two 

1 Mrs. F. F. Victor, writing of the cause leading to this war, on pages 506 and 507 in her book, entitled, " The River of the 
West," states that: 

" But when at last the call to arms was made in Oregon, it was an opportunity sought and not an alternative forced upon 
them, by the politicians of that Territory. The occasion was simply this: A party of lawless wretches from the Sound Country 
passing over the Cascade mountains into the Yakima Valley, on their way to the Upper Columbia mines, found some Yakima 
women digging roots in a lonely place and abused them. The women fled to their village and told the chiefs of the outrage, and 
a party followed the guilty whites and killed several of them in a fight. 

"Mr. Bolin, the Indian sub-agent for Washington, went to the Yakima village, and, instead of judging the ease impar- 
tially, made use of threats in the name of the United States Government, saying that an army should be sent to punish them for 
killing his people. On his return home, Mr. Bolin was followed and murdered. 

"The murder of an Indian agent was an act which could n >t be overlooked. Very properly the case should have been 
taken notice of in a manner to convince the Indians that murder must be punished. But, tempted by an opportunity for gain, 
and encouraged by the somewhat reasonable fears of the white population of Washington and Oregon, Governor G. L Curry, of 
the latter, at once proclaimed war. and issued a call for volunteers, without waiting for the sanction or assistance of the general 


of the four companies come armed with rifies, or such arms as can best be obtained. We have 
plenty of ammunition, however. As celerity is the word, we want as many of the volunteers as can 
be immediately obtained, to rendezvous at this post, and proceed with the troops to Fort Dalles 
They can be mustered here. 

"I am sir, very respectfully your obedient servant, 

" G. J. Raines, Maj. W\% Infantry, Com'd'g." 

Governor Mason at once called for volunteers as requested, and Governor Curry- 
issued a proclamation on the eleventh of October, asking of his constituents eight 
mounted companies for service during the war, which was followed in a few days by a 
call for two more, and, on the eighteenth of that month the first of them, armed and 
equipped, reached the Dalles at the front. 

Close upon the heels of the Yakima disaster came news of an Indian massacre in 
Southern Oregon, where the Rogue River savages had inaugurated war. More troops 
were necessary for the emergency, and Governor Carry issued another proclamation, 
dated October 15, asking for nine additional mounted companies to operate in the di- 
rection of the new danger. It was a grave and critical position, such as called for the 
exercise of prompt, decisive action, controlled by wise counsel, executed with cool 
and unflinching courage. Such had thus far marked the action of the two Governors 
and the officer commanding in the field. Another disaster, like that befalling Major 
Haller in the Yakima country, would ignite a flame of war from the line of California 
to the British possessions, both east and west of the Cascade mountains. 



A glance over the field affected by this Indian outbreak is necessary for a proper 
appreciation of the necessities for an extensive, general, and prompt action of the 
military forces. . By this time it had become known to the whites throughout the 
northwest that a general Indian war was imminent, and those living in isolated or un- 
protected localities were seeking greater safety by concentration or abandonment of the 
country. Besides the miners, there were living east of the Cascades at that time, the 
following persons, whose lives would be endangered by a general outbreak. 


Henry M. Chase first came, in the latter part of 1851, with William McKay 
to Umatilla river, where he wintered. The next summer he joined William Craig in 


the Nez Perces' country, wintered in 1852 at the Dalles, returned to the Nez Perce 
country in 1853, where he remained with his stock, purchased from emigrants, until 
1855, when he became a resident of what is now Dayton. At present he is living in 
Walla Walla city. 

Louis Raboin, an American of French extraction, who had been living in the 
country east of the Cascades since 1851, and in 1855 lived at the place now known as 
Marengo on the river Tukannon. 

P. M. Lafontain, a neighbor of Mr. Chase in 1855, adjoining whom he had taken 
up a claim, had been a resident since 1852. 

Lloyd Brooke, George C. Bumford, and John F. Noble were partners, and 
had occupied the Whitman mission since 1853. They had come to the country and 
selected that point for headquarters in the fall of 1852, intending to make it the centre 
of a grazing region, over which their stock could range; and they still occupied the 
place in 1855. Mr. Brooke is now residing in Portland, Oregon, in the employ of the 
United States Quartermaster's Department. Mr. Bumford died in Italy about 1868, 
and Mr. Noble now lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. 

A. P. Woodward came first to the region east of the Cascades in 1852, and, 
though temporarily absent, was a resident of the Walla Walla valley in 1855, and 
still remains so. 

W. A. Tallman was working for Brooke, Bumford and Noble in 1855. 

William Craig, an old mountaineer, had been living at Lapwaij among the Nez 
Perces, since 1845, and the friendship of that tribe for the Americans was largely due 
to his influence among them. He died there in October, 1869. 

John Owens, also a mountaineer, had been living in what now is Montana, since 
1850; now deceased. 

Dr. William McKay had been living on the Umatilla river since J 851 , and 
still resides there. 

There were three transient men working for H. M. Chase, and some for Brooke, 
Bumford and Noble. 



Pacquette, Indian wife and two children. 

Poirer, and Indian wife. 

Tellier, Indian wife and six children. 

E. Beauchemir, Indian wife and six children. 
A. La Course, Indian wife and three children. 
Narcises Remond, Indian wife and two children. 
Lewis Dauny, Indian wife and three children. 
L. Rocque, Indian wife and three children. 
T. Morisette, Indian wife and three children. 

Brancheau, Indian wife and four children. 

Oliver Brisbois, Indian wife and one child. 

A. D. Pambrun. * 


William McBean, Indian wife and eleven children. 

J. B. Ignace, Indian wife and one child. 

Mignan Findlay, Indian wife and three children. 

Nichelo Findlay. 

Etteyne, Indian wife and one child. 

Father Chirouse, and two brothers. 

Father Pondosa, temporarily. 

To the foregoing add James Sinclair, with several employes, who had charge of 
the Hudson's Bay fort at Wallula, and it includes the inhabitants, living within the 
region already hostile or liable to immediately become so. 

Besides those residing in the country, there were many transient persons passing- 
through it, or liable to do so, whose lives would be endangered if the uprising should 
extend east or south of the Columbia river. Included among this class, were the 
miners, Governor Stevens' party and the overland immigrants. Miners in the Colville 
country, while they remained there, were safe, as the Indians in that section desired 
peace. Their lands had not been disposed of to the whites, and the Catholic priests, 
aided by the Hudson's Bay Company, were using their influence to prevent an out- 
break, a task not difficult to perform, as those tribes, as yet, had no serious grievance 
to complain of. The main body of those treasure seekers, as they approached the gold 
region, had begun to meet returning parties, who reported gold in quantities so limited 
that no one was warranted in remaining in the country, and many because of such re- 
ports immediately turned back. Others stopped in Colville valley for a time, and pos- 
sibly two hundred reached this point before deciding to return. Because of those 
unfavorable reports and the Indian outbreak, not over sixty reached the mines that at 
least a thousand had started for. Those assembled at Colville organized into companies 
and made their way back to the settlements, avoiding the Yakima country on their 
return. Some few attempted it alone, or in small squads, and their graves have never 
been found. Governor Stevens was still east of the Rocky mountains, but the time 
had come when he was expected to return, and, as his route necessarily lay through 
the disaffected region, his party were liable to be cut off and massacred by the hostiles. 

This was the condition of affairs existing after the troops were driven out of the 
Yakima country by Kamaiakun, and the disaffected Indians generally were encouraged 
to resistance because of this success. All tribes under control of that redoubtable 
chief had entered upon the warpath; but, could hostilities be confined to his followers, 
the result of the war, at most, would not be calamitous. The lives of such settlers and 
transient whites as we have mentioned, would not be endangered. 

There was another imminent danger threatening, however, in the evident sympa- 
thy of Peu-peu-mox-mox, with the Kamaiakun outbreak. At one time he had been a 
strong friend to the whites, but the death of his son, murdered by them in cold blood 
at Sutter's Fort, had changed that feeling to hate, and he only waited a favorable oppor- 
tunity to wreak his vengeance upon the race that had wronged him. Should this dreaded 
Walla Walla once sound his war-cry, the Umatilla and Cayuse tribes would answer 
to the call, making a chain of hostile tribes from the Grande Ronde across the Colum- 
bia to the British possessions. Could Peu-Peu-mox-mox be kept from entering upon 
the war path for a few weeks only, it would give time, because of the lateness of the 


season, for the emigrants to come in beyond danger, the straggliDg miners to get out of 
the country, and, possibly, for Governor Stevens to pass unmolested through his terri- 
tory. An opportunity would thus be given for the settlers also to seek safety. 


Nathan Olney, the Indian agent, fully comprehending the grave position, started 
from the Dalles with $500 in silver and some presents of goods to go to Wallula and 
pay Peu-peu-mox-mox the first installment due him under the treaty. He was accom- 
panied on the journey only by Ta-be-bo, a half-breed, and A. P. Woodward, the latter 
of whom still lives on the Walla Walla river near Dry creek. On their arrival, 
October 12, at old Fort Walla Walla near the mouth of the river of that name, they 
were cordially received by James Sinclair, who with three or four men had charge of 
the fort. Peu-peu-mox-mox was sent for and told that the promised money and goods 
awaited him, but he returned a sullen and defiant reply. He repudiated the treaty ; 
said he would accept neither presents nor money from the government, and wanted the 
whites to leave his country. Finding that nothing could be accomplished by negotia- 
tions, Mr. Olney notified the settlers of the full danger that surrounded them and ad- 
vised an immediate abandonment of the country. A council between the agent and 
Sinclair, resulted in a determination to abandon the fort. The surplus ammunition 
stored there by the Hudson's Bay Company, was taken out in a boat and dumped in 
the Columbia river, to prevent its falling into the hands of Indians. Then the settlers, 
the Hudson's Bay men, and a number of miners who had reached this point, started 
for the Dalles, leaving the hostile country east of the Cascade mountains untenanted 
with whites, except by a few ex-Hudson's Bay Company French employes who had 
married into these tribes, a couple of priests, and 


During the first days in October, Henry M. Chase, Lloyd Brooke, and a French- 
man named P. M. Lafontain had started for the Dalles to procure winter supplies for 
their ranches at and near the present site of Dayton in Columbia county. They had 
passed the agency, on the Umatilla river, when overtaken by a horseman who informed 
them of the Kamaiakun outbreak. They returned to the agency where they found 
Mr. Whitney, who had just arrived from near where Pendleton now stands, on his 
way out of the country with his family. He also had been warned by a friendly In- 
dian of the danger menacing the whites, and was struggling to place his wife who was 
in ill-health beyond the reach of a scalping-knife. Mr. Chase, seeing the woman's 
sad condition, turned over his team and wagon to the husband, thus enabling him to 
take his family from the dangerous locality. It was a valuable span of horses worth 
$500, and the husband was requested to leave them with a certain party at the Dalles, 
but the owner has never heard from them since. 

The three men then started for McKay's cabin, on the creek of that name, which 
empties into the Umatilla a little below the present site of Pendleton. Reaching the 
place, they took possession of it with a view of staying through the night, but a friendly 
Indian came and told the party of the intention of some hostiles to murder them before 


morning, and folding their blankets they "silently stole away" by a circuitous route to 
Dry creek on their way to the Walla Walla valley where they passed the few remaining 
hours of the night. With the coming day their journey was resumed, and reaching 
the Whitman mission, a council was held to advise as to the best course to pursue 
under the circumstances. It was decided to convert into a fort, the house just erected 
by Brooke, Bumford and Noble, on the Touchet, about half way between where now 
stands Dayton and Waitsburg. H. M. Chase and Lafontain at once returned to their 
ranches on the Touchet and commenced preparation for a siege. Mr. Chase had three 
Americans working for him at the time, who, being told of the outbreak, decided to 
remain and help protect his property. The time agreed upon with the citizens of 
Walla Walla for occupying the Brooke and Bumford house had passed, but no one 
came, and Mr. Chase became uneasy. He sent Lafontain down to the valley in the 
night to find what caused the delay, and learned on the messenger's return in the 
morning, that the whole American population of the country were on the eve of leav- 
ing it, including the gentlemen who had proposed to stay, and " fight it out on that line." 
They used their best endeavors by letter to get Mr. Chase to join them, and return to 
the Dalles with the Indian agent, Nathaniel Olney, who had advised this movement. 
This he refused to do, and declared that if a man could be found who would remain 
with him, the country should not be abandoned. He lived at this time in a substantial 
log house on his claim which included the present site of Dayton, in Columbia county. 
After telling his three men what had transpired below, he asked if they would still re- 
main and help convert the log house into a stockaded fort. They were enthusiastic to 
do this, and the work of preparing logs for a stockade began. 

Enthusiastic courage is an electric spark that is apt to ignite any kindred element 
with which it comes in* contact, and these mountain adventurers were fired by the act 
and chivalry of the hair-brained attempt by Mr. Chase to undertake to do what the 
resources of two territories, aided by the United States Government, were taxing their 
utmost strength to accomplish ; that is, to maintain American supremacy in the country. 
For a day everything moved like a charm, but with the evening came reflections 
and a council among the rank and file of the Chase phalanx. It resulted in that 
gentleman being informed that, having neither land, stock, valuables, nor Indians 
lost in the territory, whom it would be desirable to find, they had concluded to shake 
the dangerous dust of that section from off their feet; and they " dusted." One of 
the four, however, remained; he had a land claim adjoining Mr. Chase ; his name was 
P. M. Lafontain, and he was a Frenchman. 

There was an American living on Tukannon river at a place now called Marengo, 
whose name was Louis Raboin. Thus Mr. Chase and Raboin became the only two 
Americans who remained in the hostile country after Nathan Olney and his party had 
left Fort Walla Walla for the Dalles in October. The other whites remaining were 
ex-Hudson's Bay employes, who counted upon their matrimonial connection and 
friendship with the Indians, rather than fortifications, for their safety. Mr. Chase 
and Lafontain, though not being able by themselves to put up a stockade, determined 
to remain at all hazards, and continued defensive preparations as they best could. 
Bullets were run till a pail was nearly full ; holes were cut through the log walls, just far 
enough so that a vigorous push with a gun-barrel from the inside would make an 


opening through which to fire upon an attacking party; meat was dried; potatoes 
were placed in the tunnel ; flour was stored away in the building ; a tunnel was run 
from the house to within a few feet of the creek, through which water could be ob- 
tained in case of siege, or to serve in the event of disaster, as a possible avenue of es- 
cape or last resort for defense. For ten days these two, standing alternate guard night 
and day, continued the labor of strengthening their position. Not an Indian made 
his appearance, but the ceaseless watching for a foe that never came, produced at last a 
depressing effect that finally caused them to abandon their stronghold and seek, with 
their stock, the protection of the Nez Perces, the long-tried friends of the Americans. 
On their way one night was passed at the cabin of Raboin, who joined them, and 
there remained no longer an American in the hostile country. They had been gone from 
the place but a day when the Indians came in strength to capture them, and, finding 
but an empty house, burned it to the ground. 



That the reader might better understand with what the young territories of 
Washington and Oregon had to contend, the foregoing digression was made from a 
narration of events following the Haller defeat. The Oregon Governor had called for 
ten companies, the Washington Governor had called for two more, and the regulars 
were concentrating; all for operation in the Columbia river country, with Maj. G. J. 
Raines of the 4th U. S. Infantry in command. 

The two Washington Territory companies were mustered into the regular service, 
and Governor Curry issued an order for that purpose to the Oregon volunteers, but 
countermanded it. This change of policy opened the door for jealousy between the 
regular and volunteer forces, that later, became a serious obstacle to effective operations 
in the field. It was with great difficulty that the Oregon troops j)rocured arms and 
ammunition from the regulars for the campaign, although Maj. Raines was more favor- 
ably disposed towards them than were his successors. 

Col. J. W. Nesmith, commanding the Oregon volunteers, arrived at the Dalles on 
the nineteenth of October, and the time intervening until the twenty-fifth, was spent 
in an ineffectual attempt to obtain supplies from the regular army officers. During 
this time the letter, hereafter quoted, was written to Colonel Nesmith by Major Raines. 
Every available resource having been brought in play to equip and arm the Oregon 
volunteers, it was finally accomplished ; and the force was enabled to move from the 
Dalles north into the enemy's country. The regulars, having started in advance, were 
overtaken by Colonel Nesmith on the third of November, 1855; after which, for the 



; iS#:: r 




balance of that campaign, the two divisions marched together, fought the enemy, 
and fraternized like allied forces opposing a common enemy. The Oregon troops, 
however, were an independent command subject to orders: first, from their Governor, 
and second, from Colonel Nesmith — their organization being as follows ; 



Hank from. 


October 13— J. W. Nesmith, Colonel. Resigned December 11, 1855. 

October 30 — James K. Kelly, Lieutenant Colonel. 

October 30— A. N. Armstrong, Major. Resigned December 27. 

October 30 — M. A. Chinn, Major. 

October 13 — William H. Farrar, Adjutant. 

October 13. — R. Thompson, Quartermaster. 

October 13 — S. Norris, Commissary of Subsistence. Resigned December 1. 

October 18 — J. F. Miller, Issuing Commissaiy. 

November 7 — W. H. Fountleroy, Assistant Quartermaster. 



Date of Muster. 

October 15 — Captain A. V. Wilson. 

October 15 — First Lieutenant B. M. Harding. 

October 15 — Second Lieutenant C. B. Pillow. 


October 18 — Captain O. Humason. 
October 18 — First Lieutenant John T. Jeffries. 
October 18 — Second Lieutenant James A. Mc- 
Auliff, present Mayor of Walla Walla. 


October 16 — Captain James K. Kelly Elected 
Lieutenant Colonel October 30. 

November 4 — Captain Samuel B. Stafford. 

October 16 — First Lieutenant D. B. Hannah. 

October 16 — Second Lieutenant James A. Pow- 

November 4 — Second Lieutenant Charles Cut- 


October 17 — Captain Thomas R. Cornelius. 

Elected Colonel First Regiment December 21. 
October 17 — First Lieutenant Hiram Wilbur. 
October 17 — Second Lieutenant W. H. H. Myers 
December 30 — Second Lieutenant John H. 



October 17 — Captain A. J. Hembree. 
October 17 — First Lieutenant John P. Hibbler. 
October 17 — Second Lieutenant William A. 


Date of Muster. 

October 19 — Captain Charles Bennett. Killed 

in battle December 7, 1855. 
October 19 — First Lieutenant A. M. Fellows. 

Elected Captain in December, 1855. 
October 19 — Second Lieutenant A. Shephard. 

Elected First Lieutenant in December, 1855. 
December Second Lieutenant Richard A. 



October 19 — Captain A. N. Armstrong. Elected 

Major October 30, 1855. 
November 2 — Captain Benjamin Hayden. 
October 19 — First Lieutenant Ira S. Townsend. 
October 19— Second Lieutenant F. M. P. Goff. 
November 2 — Second Lieutenant David Cosper. 


October 20 — Captain Davis Layton. 

October 20 — First Lieutenant A. Hanan. Pres- 
ent residence Dayton, W. T. 

October 20 — Second Lieutenant John M. Bar- 
rows. Killed in battle December 7, 1855. 


October 20 — Captain Lyman B. Monson. 
October 20 — -First Lieutenant Smith Suard. 
October 20 — Second Lieutenant Chas. B. Hand. 


October 31 — Captain Narcisse A. Cornoyer . 
October 31 — First Lieutenant Antoine Rivais. 
October 31 — Second Lieutenant Thos. J. Small. 

Total force officers and enlisted men 796. 



The first regiment of Washington Territory volunteers were three months' men, 
and were called into the field and local service by a proclamation of acting Governor 
Mason, dated October 14, 1855, and included both cavalry and infantry. Two of the 
companies, A and B of the cavalry, were mustered into the regular army, and the re- 
mainder were not. The majority of them were organized to protect the immediate 
vicinity of their homes, while others were for special purposes; like the Stevens 
Guards, Spokane Invincibles, and Nez Perce Volunteers under Spotted Eagle. 


1 Company A — Captain William Strong; rank and file 61 men 

1 Company B — Captain Gilmore Hays; rank and file 91 men 

2 Company E — Captain I. Hays; rank and file 40 men 

2 Company F — Captain B. F. Henness; rank and file: 63 men 

2 Company K — Captain J. R. Jackson; rank and file 26 men 

2 Cowlitz Rangers — Captain Henry Peers; rank and file 39 men 

2 Lewis River Rangers —Captain William Bratton; rank and file 44 men 

3 Stevens Guard — Captain C. P. Higgins; rank and file 25 men 

4 Spokane Invincibles — Captain B. F. Yantiss; rank and file 23 men 

2 Puget Sound Rangers — Captain Charles Eaton; rank and file 36 men 

5 Nez Perce Volunteers — Chief Spotted Eagle; rank and* file 70 men 

Total rank and file 518 men 


Company C — Captain George B. Goudy; rank and file 70 men 

H Company D — Captain W. H. Wallace; rank and file 55 men 

Company G — Captain W. A. S. McCorkle; rank and file 22 men 

Company H — Captain C. C. Hewitt; rank and file 75 men 

Company I — Captain I. N. Ebey ; rank and file 84 men 

Company J — Captain A. A. Plummer; rank and file _. 29 men 

Nesqually Ferry Guards — Sergeant Packwood; rank and file 10 men 

Total rank and file 345 men 

We have been unable to learn what constituted the regular army forces ope rating 
in this department at the time. Colonel Nesmith took with him on the Yakima expe- 
dition, companies C, D, E, F and G, the remainder being left at the Dalles under 
Lieutenant-Colonel James K. Kelly to protect the base of supplies. With the regular 
force under Major Raines was the since world-renowned Phil. Sheridan, at that time a 
lieutenant of dragoons. This move to the north was intended as a co-operative ad- 
vance into the enemy's country, another column having started to meet them from the 
Sound under Captain M. Maloney of the Fourth Infantry. The int ention was to 

1 Mustered into the regular service and furnished their own horses. 

2 Furnished their own horses. 

3 Horses furnished by Government. 

£ Horses partly furnished by Government and partly by volunteers. 

5 Furnished their own horses and equipments. 

6 A portion of Company D served as mounted men and furnished their own horses. 


strike the Indians from the north and south at the same time, and, by bringing them 
between two advancing columns, either whip or awe them into subjection, and thus 
prevent a farther spread among adjoining tribes of the hope on their part of a success- 
ful war. 


It will be remembered that, at the first indication of hostilities, Lieutenant W. A. 
Slaughter had been ordered from Fort Steilacoom on the twenty-seventh of September 
into the Yakima country from the north by way of Nachess pass, with forty men and 
forty days rations, and Major Haller had started from the south to form a junction 
with him in the enemy's country. When Haller was defeated before he had joined 
Slaughter, the latter was forced, without knowing of the defeat, to fall back from the 
pass into the White river prairie where Captain M. Maloney joined him with seventy- 
five men on the twenty-first of October. On the the twenty-fourth Captain Hays 
with his company of Washington volunteers reached Captain Maloney who immedi- 
ately took up his line of inarch with this force to co-operate with the troops supposed 
to be moving north from the Dalles. On the twenty-ninth of October Captain Ma- 
loney addressed Major Raines as follows : 

" I commenced my march for the Yakima country, expecting to had you in the field. Yester 
day I arrived at this camp, when I laid over to-day to recruit my animals. I received an express 
to-day from Steilacoom from which I get information that you will not be on your march for from 
one to two weeks. I have also got information that there are from two to three thousand Indians, 
well armed and determined to fight, in my front, and, after considering the matter over, have con- 
cluded that it is my duty to return to Steilacoom. My reasons are as follows, viz: my force is not 
sufficiently strong to fight them and protect the animals and provisions which I have along with 
me; secondly, if I advance I must meet them, as there is no point before me before I get into the 
plains, where I can camp and defend myself and animals; where I will not be cut off from com- 
munication, both in front and rear by high water, before you can get into the enemy's country ; 
thirdly, in accordance with your orders I started with thirty days' provisions. I have been out 
twelve days, and therefore have only eighteen days' provisions which would be out before my com- 
mand could join yours. There is already snow upon the mountains, and there is every reason to 
believe that in three or four days it will close the road from here to Steilacoom, and, also, raise the 
Nachess river so that it will prevent communication between this place and the Yakima plains. 

"I am of the opinion that the best way to get the troops from Steilacoom into the enemy's 
will be by way of the Dalles. 

" I also learn from the same express that the northern Indians are showing themselves in con- 
siderable numbers at Steilacoom and other points on the Sound, intending, with other Indians, to 
strike a blow in case I should be defeated here." 

From this communication it will be seen that before the force under Raines and 
Nesmith left the Dalles, Captain Maloney had fallen back. 

His retrograde movement encouraged the Indians who attacked him on White 
river, and the official report of the engagement notes one regular killed, one volunteer 
wounded and forty Indians sent to the happy hunting grounds ; but Maloney continued 
to fall back till he reached Fort Steilacoom, This was the third force that, starting 
with the purpose, had failed to punish Kamaiakun. This movement by Captain Ma- 
loney left the southern column with its owu resources to depend upon only, which fact 
remained unknown to them for a long time, because of their having no direct com 
mication with the Sound. 



It has been already noted that Colonel Nesmith's command had overtaken the 
regulars under Major Raines on the third of November, and that the united force was 
moving to the north. On the seventh Governor Curry sent companies A and K to re- 
inforce Colonel Nesmith, which would swell his force to 553 men, rank and file. This 
reinforcement lost its way, and failed to reach the Colonel until on his way back to the 
Dalles. At the same time instructions were forwarded for the Colonel to return by 
way of Walla Walla at the close of the Yakima campaign, to which place along the 
south side of the Columbia river, a force of 150 men were to be sent him. This 
order was not obeyed. 

On the way through the country a large quantity of secreted Indian provisions, 
estimated at 10,000 pounds, was discovered, and either taken j)ossession of or destroyed, 
and, in turn, the Indians captured some ten of the soldiers' pack animals. But few of 
the enemy were seen on the march all of whom kept at a safe distance. On the morn- 
ing of the eighth the entire force was camped at the southern edge of the Yakima 
valley on Simcoe creek, and when the line of march that day was taken up, Captain 
Cornelius with 70 men made a detour to the left on a scout to see if the enemy were to 
be found in that direction. Towards evening the main body reached the vicinity of 
the Yakima river and camped, with the regulars some two miles in advance. Major 
Raines, commanding the latter, soon discovered the enemy in some bushes on the op- 
posite bank of the stream and opened upon them, at the same time dispatching a 
courier back to Colonel Nesmith advising him of the enemy's presence. The Colonel 
on receipt of the news dashed away to the front at the head of 60 men, where he found 
the regulars and Indians passing leaden compliments with the river flowing between 
them. He at once commenced searching for a ford, found it, crossed the stream, and 
dislodging the savages, followed them ineffectually until they took refuge in the direc- 
tion of the " Buttes " to the northeast, from where he withdrew and went into camp 
after dark. Lieuteuant Phil. Sheridan, at the head of some twenty United States 
dragoons followed the force under Colonel Nesmith across the river, and gallantly 
joined the successful advance. 

That evening Captain Cornelius reached Nesmith's camp, having been engaged 
during the greater part of the afternoon with a large body of Indians, in which three 
of his men and several horses had received wounds. 

On the morning of November 9, the entire force moved in the direction of a gap 
in the hills through which flows the Yakima river, at a point known as the "Two 
Buttes." The advance guard consisted of companies commanded by Captains Corne- 
lius, Hembree and Bennett. These drove the Indians from their lurking places in the 
bushes along the river until all — some 300 — had fallen back and taken possession of 
their rude fortifications upon the "Buttes." At first a howitzer was tried, but, for want 
of sufficient elevation, its shell failed to reach the enemy. Then Major Haller and 
Captain Augur with their commands, aided by a force of volunteers, charged up the 
rugged, broken face of the mountain, from which the Indians fled down the opposite 
side in hot haste. The savages had made no resistance during the day after finding- 


that the soldiers were determined to force an engagement at close range if possible ; con- 
sequently no one was hurt. 

That night the whites camped at the base of the Buttes, and the Indians re-occu- 
pied the abandoned heights, but in the morning they were again dislodged with a loss 
of two killed. The capture of their entire force at this time only failed through the 
misconception of orders by Lieutenant D. B. Hannah. The Indians made no further 
resistance and at once abandoned that section of country. That day a few straggling, 
retreating bands were met in the valley, where skirmishes took place ; and at night 
the troops bivouacked by the Athanam river, some two miles east of the Catholic 

Up to this time no communication had been received, by the forces under Colonel 
Nesmith or Major Baines, from Captain Maloney, who, as they supposed, was making 
his way through the Nachess pass to join them, and fears were entertained that the 
entire force of Indians might have gone in that direction for the purpose of over- 
whelming him by numbers. He was back at the Sound safely housed in Fort Steila- 
coom, but this fact was not yet known to them. 

Colonel Nesmith with 250 men, among whom were Phil. Sheridan and his dra- 
goons, started on the morning of November 11 for this pass, with a view of rendering 
assistance to Captain Maloney if he needed it, or at least to open communication with 
him. A violent snow storm setting in, he was forced to return; and, after an absence 
of three clays, his tents were pitched at the old Catholic mission, where the main force 
under Major Baines had preceded him. While stationed there the troops accidentally 
burned the mission building, that had been constructed of poles and mud. On the 
fifteenth a council of war was held, and the unanimous opinion prevailed that the re- 
duced commissary supplies warranted only an immediate return to the Dalles, and a 
line of march in that direction was at once taken up. 

On the seventeenth, while crossing the Simcoe mountains, Colonel Nesmith re- 
ceived the Governor's order to return by way of Fort Walla Walla; but it was found 
impossible to obey it; and the whole command reached the Klikitat river, twenty-four 
miles north from the Columbia where horses could be grazed, and Colonel Nesmith 
the Dalles, on the nineteenth of November. 




November 12 — the same day on which the force under Colonel Nesmith was 
pushing forward to meet Captain Maloney in the Nachess pass, from where he was 
forced back by the fierce, continued storm of snow — Major Mark A. Chinn, with com- 
pany B, moved from the Dalles along the south side of the Columbia river in the di- 
rection of Fort Walla Walla, in accordance with the Governor's plan of a general 
concentration at that point. Company K had preceded the Major, and was camped 
three miles above the De Chutes river, on the banks of the Columbia. Here the two 
companies were united, and the Major pushed forward, reaching Well Springs on the 
seventeenth. Not a sign of an Indian had been seen along the line of inarch, and 
constant scouting on the way had failed to discover any. Their absence had become 
a subject of alarm to the commanding officer, as indicating a general uprising and 
concentration of the tribes. Added to this was the failure, up to this time, of Narcises 
Remond, who had been sent among the enemy by the Indian agent, to report what he 
had laarned regarding them. In the night, after Major Chinn's arrival at the Well 
Springs, John McBean and a companion came into camp as couriers from Mr. 
Remond. Their report was that Peu-peu-mox-mox had sent a large force of his war- 
riors to watch the movements of the volunteers ; and that Fort Walla Wall was 
already in possession of the Indians, about 1,000 of whom were occupying it and the 
adjacent advantageous positions. This information determined Major Chinn to aban- 
don the present attempt at reaching that point until reinforcements could be obtained 
from the Dalles, for which he dispatched a courier. In the meantime he determined 
to move forward to the Umatilla river and fortify, making the old Catholic agency 
grounds the base of supplies and operations against the hostiles. On the eighteenth 
he reached the proposed ' ; new base," where works were constructed, which he de- 
scribes as follows : " We have an abundance of timber and water, and tolerable grass 
for stock. We have now picketed in with large split timber 100 feet square of ground) 
and erected two bastions of round logs on two of the angles; and from the rails found 
here, made two corrals for the horses and cattle. This, as a defense, is good against 
any body of Indians." 

From this point the Major sent, on the twenty-first of November, another courier 
to the Dalles, asking for two more companies and artillery to assist him in moving 
upon Fort Walla Walla. It will be remembered that the forces from the Yakima 
country, which were to co-0})erate with Major Chinn, had returned instead to the 
Dalles, having reached that vicinity on the nineteenth ; but he was not aware of this 
fact. On the twenty-first, Captain Munson's company of 71 men, and three days 


later, Captains Wilson and Cornoyer's companies, consisting of about 100 men, 
marched to reinforce Major Chinn, accompanied by Lieut. Col. James K. Kelly, who 
was to take command of the forces at the front. 


A difference of opinion in regard to the control of operations the field hadin 
arisen between the regulars and volunteers, as before stated, at the threshold of active 
operations. The former wished to take charge of military operations, while the latter 
insisted upon a separate organization and independent action, but were desirous of cor- 
dial and harmonious co-operation in prosecuting the war. The Territories of Oregon 
and Washington were neither of them prepared for either arming or equipping a 
force, and they sought to supply the deficiency through the regular army officers, who 
were asked to issue the surplus of government stores in their charge to the volunteers. 
The request was not complied with, on the ground that there was no existing authority 
which warranted the commanding officer of the department in issuing government 
property to citizens: but the applicants were informed that muster into the regular 
army removed such disability. This, the forces under Colonel Nesmith had refused 
to do; but, after some vexatious delay, they were jioorly fitted for the field through 
various devices, including the receipt of a few arms with ammunition, etc., issued to 
them by the United States officers, under the law which entitled Oregon to certain 
military equipments she had not received. 

A considerable feeling had developed during this controversy between the two 
branches of the force j>reparing to take the field; during the progress of which, Major 
Raines, on the eve of moving from the Dalles into the Yakima country, had addressed 
a letter to Colonel Nesmith, in which occurred the following language : 

" If you and your command will be enrolled and mustered into the service of the United 
States — yourself as Major — * * * and each company with its own elected 

officers * * * and musicians, we can take the field immediately luith some show 

of success. But, should you determine otherwise, and wait for the slow and uncertain movements of 
those in the rear, which, as things proceed, will not be in condition to march before it will be winter, in- 
deed, and too late. I shall march on with the regulars, and leave you and the citizens in arms with you 
to reconcile to themselves and their honorable feelings any mishaps ivhich may befall us in fulfilling our 
duty to our country." 

The proposition, as the Major had put it, looked like an unenviable one, as it was 
important that a move should be made at once. The refusal of the volunteers to be 
mustered was placed by him upon the score of a lack of patriotism and disregard for 
any calamity that might befall the command of Major Raines, for want of assistance 
when the enemy was met. The condition in which Major Chinn found himself on the 
Umatilla, reversed the former apparent position of affairs. Now it was the volunteers 
who were really in peril; whereupon, Colonel Nesmith addressed Major Raines the 
following Nesmithean epistle, which proved that, even in those days, his pen could cut 
like a sword. Since the opening of the Yakima campaign, General AVool had arrived 
at Vancouver and assumed command of the department. 


Headquarters Regiment, O. V., 

Dalles, O. T., November 25, 1855. 
Major Raines, United States Army, Fourth Infantry, 

and Brigadier General Washington Territory Militia: 

" General : — On my arrival here the evening. of the eighteenth instant, I received an express 
from the Second Major of my regiment, who was then advancing towards the Walla Walla country 
with a volunteer force of about one hundred and fifty men. 

" The express brought me intelligence that the command of the Major was threatened by an 
overwhelming force of the enemy, and I was requested to reinforce him with 150 men and two how- 
itzers. I have sent forward the number of men asked for, and, in your absence from Fort Dalles, 
I forwarded to Major General Wool a request to be furnished with the artillery and a requisite 
number of officers, and men to work the same property. 

" The delay incident to communication between this place and Vancouver, renders it quite un- 
certain as to the time I may receive the reply of the General. In view of this, I made, this morn- 
ing, the verbal application to you, as the commanding officer of this military district, to furnish me 
with the howitzers, hoping that under the present emergency you would feel yourself warranted in 
promptly responding to my call. * * * If the howitzers, with the officers and 

men to manage them are furnished, I can readily provide a mounted escort to take them before the 
position occupied by the enemy, and ' can take the field immediately with some show of success. But, 
should you determine otherwise, and wait for the slow and uncertain movement of those in the rear 
which, as things proceed, loill not be in condition to march before it icill be winter, indeed, and too late. 
* * I shall march on ivith the volunteers, and leave you to reconcile to your 

honorable feelings any mishap which' may befall us in fulfilling our duty to our country.'" 

This return to the Major of his own literary production, under circumstances so 
thoroughly applicable, completely turned the tables, and his refusal to furnish the desired 
howitzers, made its application of a character still more marked. Major Raines failed 
to comply with the request for the howitzers and artillery and men to man them, on 
the grounds that General Wool, being in command, was the one to grant or refuse them. 
General Wool refused. He would not even join in a winter campaign against the 
Indians; and withdrawing his forces from the field, including the three months' Wash- 
ington volunteers, left the Oregon troops to meet the enemy east of the Cascades un- 

The condition of those thus forced to continue the war unaided, will be appre- 
ciated best by reference to the following from Colonel Nesmith, under date of Novem- 
ber 22, 1855: 

" Many of the men were frost-bitten on the late expedition, and can hardly be said to be fit for 
duty. An inspection of horses has been had at camp, and about one-fourth of the whole number 
were found fitted for present duty. About one-half of the men composing the whole command de- 
sire their discharge. I have given a few discharges upon the written report of the surgeon, stating 
that the men were unfit for duty. I have also, granted furloughs to a few of the men who have 
urgent busines requiring their personal attention for short periods; and am now anxiously awaiting 
orders for the disposition of the remainder of the command. * * * The 

right column, which was under my immediate command, suffered intensely during the campaign 
for want of tents to protect them from the inclemency of the weather. My requisition for tents is 
still unfilled. There is much justifiable complaint on the part of the men, by reason of their ex- 
posed condition." 

November 28, Colonel Nesmith addressed Colonel Kelly at the front as follows : 
" The command of Captains Bennett and Cornelius will increase your command to 
about four hundred and seventy-Jive men, which I consider an amvjle force to meet the 
enemy in your quarter." On the same day of writing this letter, Colonel Nesmith 


started for the Willamette valley, leaving Captain W. H. Farrar in command at the 
Dalles, Major Armstrong of the two companies in the vicinity of the De Chutes and 
John Day rivers, and Colonel Kelly at the front. He intended but a temporary ab- 
sence, but resigned after reaching Portland, and did not return to his command. 


Lieut. Col. James K. Kelly, who had left the Dalles on the twenty-fourth of Oc- 
tober for the purpose of taking command of active operations in the field, reached 
Fort Henrietta on the twenty-ninth. He learned upon arrival, that the Indians were 
in possession of Fort Walla Walla; that they occupied that vicinity in force; and he 
determined to march against them at once. His command moved with this purpose on 
the evening of December 2, a lieutenant and 25 men being left to hold Fort Henrietta. 
It was hoped that the enemy might be surprised at daybreak the next morning, but inci- 
dental delays of the night march, prevented their reaching the locality until late in the 
following forenoon. The fort was found pillaged, defaced, deserted, and with its furni- 
ture destroyed. The forces remained there until the fifth, when Major Chinn was sent 
with the baggage and 150 men to the mouth of the Touchet river, where he was to 
await movements of the main body. Colonel Kelly, with about 200 men, started at 
the same time encumbered with neither baggage nor rations, to find the enemy up that 
stream; and, as expressed in his report, "with a view of attacking the Walla Walla 
Indians, who were supposed to be encamped there." 

With these two hundred men, Louis McMorris, now a resident of Walla Walla, 
went in charge of the hospital stores, and later witnessed the killing of Peu-peu-mox- 
mox. From him ; the official report of Colonel Kelly ; conversations with Captain 
Cornoyer, uoav living in Umatilla county, Oregon ; and Lieut. James McAuliff, pres- 
ent Mayor of Walla Walla city, have been mainly obtained the details of what followed 
in the next four days. The troops followed a trail leading up the Touchet river, hav- 
ing scouts on the flanks and in advance, looking for prowling bands of Indians. Cap- 
tain Cornoyer, with two or three men, was a long way in advance, when, reaching a 
point on the river where the hills on either side of a deep valley shut out the surround- 
ing view, he determined to ascend one of them and take observations. In doing so, as 
he approached the summit, there suddenly appeared several Indians in his immediate 
front, advancing from the opposite side of the crest. In an instant the Captain's gun 
was leveled upon the one in advance, but, before he could fire, a flag of truce was dis- 
covered in the hand of the savage ; and the Captain's companions cried out, " Don't 
shoot! don't shoot! it's Peu-peu-mox-moxV A parley followed; but, while it was 
going on the Captain discovered a band of about 150 Indians on horseback, following 
in the direction from which the chief had come. In a twinkling his gun again cov- 
ered Peu-peu-mox-mox, who was told that if his followers advanced nearer, his own 
life would pay the forfeit ; and, at a signal accompanied by a peculiar cry, the ad- 
vancing party halted as if by magic, every one of whom dismounted and stood by his 

The Chief asked if Nathan Olney, the Indian agent, was with - the soldiers ; and 
on being told that he was, expressed a desire to see him. He stated that he wanted 


no fighting ; that he had determined at first to make war on the whites, but, after re- 
flection, had concluded that it was not policy for his people to do so ; that he was will- 
ing to make all amends that lay in his power for what his tribe had done; and was 
anxious to secure a permanent peace. The Captain sent one of his men back to 
report what was transpiring in front, asking Colonel Kelly to come with Nathan 
Olney, and meet the flag of truce party. Accordingly, the volunteers were halted in 
plain sight of the little squad on the hill, while the parties indicated, with John Mc- 
Bean for interpreter, went forward to meet the redoubtable Chief. 

Considerable time was consumed in the conference that followed ; and, as it 
passed, gradually the main body of both Indians and volunteers approached the cen- 
tral group until all were together, the soldiers surrounding the flag party with the 
main force of Indians on the outside. This was clone without orders, each side seem- 
ingly distrustful of the other's proximity, having approached the parlients until they 
were surrounded. Finally, the entire body moved on towards the Indian village, until 
it was discovered that the trail they were following passed through a dangerous canon, 
when another halt was made. A portion of the troops had already entered the canon, 
among whom was Captain Cornoyer, who, on turning back to learn what caused the delay, 
found that fears were entertained by some of the officers that treachery was intended by 
Peu-peu-mo.r-mox. Their only reason for thinking so was that the opportunity for 
treachery ivas favorable, therefore contemplated. Captains Cornoyer, Bennett, and 
others were of a different opinion ; they said treachery on his part would cost him his 
life, and he knew it. " Put him in my charge," said Captain Cornoyer, " he will 
then know that the first gun fired upon our ranks will be the signal of his own death, 
and there will be no danger. Let us go to their village to-night and the peace he 
promises will be a certainty, for we will have them all in our power." 

This advice was not taken. Colonel Kelly and Nathan Olney insisted that if his 
professions were in good faith, they could be carried out the next day just as well as to 
run the risk of a dangerous pass that evening ; and it was determined to move back on 
the trail a short distance, and camp supperless for the night. The flag of truce 
Indians were taken with them, under close guard, as disarmed prisoners. Regarding 
this transaction, Colonel Kelly writes that Peu-peu-mox-mox 

" Stated that he did not wish to fight, and that on the following day he would come and have a 
talk, and make a treaty of peace. On consultation with Hon. Nathan. Olney, Indian agent, we 
concluded that this was simply a ruse to gain time for removing his village and preparing for battle. 
I stated to him that we had come to chastise him for the wrongs he had done to our people, and 
that we would not defer making an attack on his people unless he and his five followers would consent 
to accompany and remain with us until all difficulties were settled. I told him that he might go aivay 
under his ft ag-of truce if he chose, but that if he did so, we would forthwith attack his village. The alterna- 
tive was distinctly made known to him, and to save his people, he chose to remain with us a hostage 
for the fulfillment of his promises, as did also those who accompanied him. He at the same time said 
that on the following day he would accompany us to his village; that he would then assemble his people 
and make them deliver up all their arms and ammunition, restore the property which had been 
taken from the white settlers, or pay the full value of that which could not be restored, and that he 
would furnish fresh horses to remount my command and cattle to supply them with provisions to 
enable us to wage war against other hostile tribes who were leagued with him. Having made these 
promises, we refrained from making the attack, thinking we. had him in our power, that on the next 
day his promises would be fulfilled. I also permitted him to send one of the men who accompanied 


him to his village to apprise the tribes of the terms of the expected treaty, so that they might be 
prepared to fulfill it. 

" I have since learned from a Nez Perce boy who was taken at the same time with Peu-peu-mox- 
mox, that instead of sending word to his people to make a treaty of peace, he sent an order for them 
to remove their women and children and prepare for battle. From all I have since learned, I am well 
persuaded that he was acting with duplicity, and that he expected to entrap my command in the 
deep ravine in which his camp was situated, and make his escape from us." 

All of the facts in regard to the capture of this chief, taking of this chief, or his 
surrender as a hostage to save his people, by whichever of the three ways, he came to 
be a prisoner, evidently are not given in this report ; but according to it, Colonel 
Kelly proposed to go and attack his village, and to prevent this Peu-peu-mox-mox was 
willing to return with them as a hostage. How did Colonel Kelly propose to get at 
their village, by the dangerous canon, or some other way ? If there was another 
route not dangerous, why did he not take it and go on ? If the chief had contem- 
plated ambushing them in the canon, his reply to Colonel Kelly would naturally have 
been, I will not go back with you as a hostage, hoping that his refusal would cause 
them to enter his trap. His willingness to return when left to do so or not, as he 
chose, is strong evidence that he would have nothing to gain by their passage through 
the canon, for, as far as he knew, he could have caused them to do so by refusing to 
remain with them as a hostage. 

Captain Cornoyer said to the writer: "I was thoroughly convinced then, and re- 
main so still, that Peu-peu-mox-mox came with that flag of truce in good faith, and 
believe that if we had gone ahead that night, the war would have ended then and 
there." " But," says Colonel Kelly, " I have since learned from a Nez Perce boy who 
was taken at the same time with Peu-peu-mox-mox; that instead of sending word to his 
people to make a treaty of peace he sent an order to them to remove their women and 
children and prepare for battle." This was after he surrendered as a hostage, and is 
evidence almost conclusive that prior to this they were not prepared. Why send word 
for them to " prepare for battle," if they had already done so. A failure upon the 
part of this great warrior and chief to get ready for hostilities, is evidence that he did 
not anticipate a necessity of such preparation, which could only be avoided by treating 
for peace. 

Let us proceed with events as they developed. That night the camp and 
its vicinity was a scene of stormy councils and of stormy elements. The volunteers 
were tired, hungry and dissatisfied, while the inhospitable elements shedding their fleecy 
carpet of snow upon the ground for the soldiers to lie upon, made them angry and 
almost mutinous, in their belief that it was the prisoner's fault that had placed them 
in their disagreeable position. "Shoot the damned Indians!" was a cry frequently 
heard from different parts of the camp, and the captives became restless and ill at ease, 
believing that their lives were in danger. The chief requested to be turned loose, and 
some of the officers were in favor of permitting him to go, while others were not. 
Finally an Indian appeared on an adjacent hill who desired to talk with the chief, but 
would not come in ; and Captain Cornoyer went out to talk with him accompanied 
by several, among whom was John McBean, the interpreter. The interview was un- 
satisfactory, as the Indian seemed only desirous of being heard by the captive chief, 
and talked in a very loud voice. What he said was not made clear to the Captain and 


his associates, and, concluding that all was not right, they took the loud-voiced mes- 
senger back with them a prisoner into camp. This Indian was one of those who was 
afterwards slain while a prisoner. At different times in the night Indians came around 
upon the hills and shouted communications to the chief, who told his captors that his 
people were becoming frightened for their own safety and his. Morning revealed the 
fact that the camp had been surrounded during the night by a cordon of mounted 
Indians, who evidently had listened to the threats, dissensions, and unfriendly talk in 
the volunteer camp, which was enough in itself in combination with the fact that their 
chief was a prisoner, to make them fear treachery on the part of the whites. 

The humiliating terms to which Peu-peu-mox-mox agreed, for the fulfillment of 
which he gave himself up as a willing hostage, were evidently only considered after 
traveling to the mouth of that canon with an army that was marching with the avowed 
purpose of destroying his village ; for prior to this he was not a prisoner, was free to 
go, and had retained his arms. Taking it for granted that a plot had been laid to 
attack the whites while making this dangerous passage, let us see what the logical re- 
sults would be. The leader of the conspiracy, just as his scheme is on the eve of ful- 
fillment, learns that to get what he did not want — peace — the most humiliating terms 
must be complied with. He is then told, that if he will not accept those terms, his 
enemies will do just what he has been scheming to get them to do (move on towards his 
village), and he is at liberty to go and take command of his warriors, to make sure 
that no failure should occur in carrying his plans to success. Just at this point, when 
everything is working into his hand, he says, " I will go back with you as a hostage 
and thus defeat my own jmrpose." Is not this the act of a lunatic ? And yet, it is 
what he is reported as having done. 

All existing evidence goes to prove that this great Walla Walla leader came to 
sue for peace in good faith; that his advances were received with mistrust; that he was 
taken prisoner while under a flag of truce, to make sure that he would do what he 
affirmed a willingness to do ; and that the actions and talk in camp that night made 
both him and his followers fear treachery from the whites, which caused the Indians 
to change their plans. The failure to go on to the Indian village in the first instance, 
was probably a serious mistake and a misfortune, which, at best, will throw the ap- 
pearance of responsibilily for what followed upon that commanding officer and his 
advisers. But, though this is the case, it should be borne in mind that he and they were 
acting with a view of accomjnishing a result without endangering the live sof the volun- 
teers unnecessarily; and if it was an error of judgment it was in the line of caution, 
and such an error as all, except an Indian, should excuse. Still it does not follow be- 
cause caution required Colonel Kelly to pursue this course, that justice to him, demands 
that the acts and motives of his opponent should be falsely stated. An Indian is en- 
titled to have the truth told of him, and if doing so places a white man in the wrong, 
it does not cease to be just because of this fact. 

It is probable that a change of policy was determined upon that night by the savages 
which fact was evidently conveyed to Peu-peu-mox-mox by those who shouted messages 
to him from the surrounding hills in the Cay use tongue, it being a language unknown 
to the interpreter and is no longer spoken by any tribe. The next morning the captive 
was anxious for delay, stating that his people needed time to prepare provisions and cook 


meat for so large a command, and it was nearly noon before the march was resumed. 
The dangerous canon was passed and the village was reached, but no signs of a pre- 
pared breakfast, or friendly reception greeted them. The hungry, disgusted, disap- 
pointed command halted around the smoldering fires of this deserted village, and 
knew that the time had passed for parleying. On the surrounding hills stragglers 
could be seen watching, but every effort to induce them to come in failed. A son of 
Peu-peu-mox-mox, with two others, came to within shouting distance and demanded to 
see the prisoner. Captain Cornoyer, with John McBean and one other, went out to 
talk with them, and they seemed to fear that the chief had been killed. They were as- 
sured that such was not the case, and finally the son was induced to accompany Captain 
Cornoyer into camp after exacting a pledge that he should not be harmed and should 
be permitted to leave when he chose. When the two met the old chief said to his 
son that he wished his |3eople to come in and make a treaty of peace. He was told that 
they were waiting the arrival of Five Crows, chief of the Cayuses, before deciding 
what to do, but Peu-peu-mox-mox said go and tell them to make peace. The young- 
Indian went away saying he would do as his father wished, but nothing further was 
heard from him or the Walla Wallas, that indicated an intention to do as the old war- 
rior had requested. 

Nothing was accomplished, and the sullen, hungry command started to retrace 
its steps, and, in the language of Colonel Kelly: "Proceeded to the mouth of the 
Touchet with a view of going from thence to some spot near Whitman's station, where 
I had intended to form a permanent camp for the winter. On the morning of the 
seventh, Companies H and K crossed the Touchet, leading the column on the route to 
Whitman's valley, and when formed on the plain where joined by company B. A few 
persons in front were driving our cattle, and a few were on the flanks of the companies 
and near the foot of the hills that extend along the river. These persons, as well as I 
can ascertain, were fired on by the Indians." 


A. P. Woodward, who was a member of Company B, asserted to the writer his 
knowledge that a member of his company called "Jont" fired the first shot, which was 
promptly returned by the Indians. Immediately the entire force of volunteers, except 
Companie* A and F, who were ordered to take charge of the baggage, opened on the en- 
emy. A running fight ensued east across the hills to the Walla Walla river, and up that 
stream some seven miles from where the first shot was fired. As the Indians fell back 
their numbers increased, and they fired a few shots at the volunteers from the brush On 
Dry creek, just below where the railroad now crosses that stream. This caused 
but a temporary check to the extreme advance, when away they all went again up along 
the north bank of the Walla Walla river at a break-neck speed, the pursuers close 
upon the heels of the pursued. Some four miles beyond Dry creek, stood at that time, 
a log cabin belonging to a Frenchman named La Rocque. It is no longer there, and 
its ancient site now belongs to Romane Rimellard. Here the Indians made a stand and 
a desperate struggle followed. Their line extended from the hills at the north, across 

the flat to the river. Along the river were numerous cotton wood trees and underbrush 



close to which stood the cabin ; and the flat was covered with sage brush and sand 
knolls behind which a foe could lurk unseen, while the hills were lined with mounted 
hostiles. The description of what followed is from the report of Colonel Kelly: 

" When the volunteers reached this point there were not more than 40 or 50 men, being those 
mounted upon the fleetest horses. Upon these the Indians poured a murderous fire from the brush- 
wood and willows along the river, and from the sage bushes along the plain, wounding a number 
of the volunteers. The men fell back. The moment was critical. They were commanded to cross 
the fence which surrounds La Rocque's field and charge upon the Indians in the brush. In execut- 
ing this order Lieutenant Burrows of Company H was killed, and Captain Munson of Company I, 
Isaac Miller, Sergeant Major and G-. W. Smith of Company B, were wounded. A dispatch having 
been sent to Captain Wilson of Company A, to come forward he and his company came up on a 
gallop, dismounted at a slough, and with fixed bayonets pushed on through the bush. In the 
course of half an hour Captain Bennett was on the ground with Company F, and with this acces- 
sion the enemy were steadily driven forward for two miles, when they took possession of a farm 
house and close fence, in attempting to carry which Captain Bennett of Company F and Privat 
Kelso of Company A were killed." 

This second stand was made at the cabin of a Frenchman named Tellier, whose 
descendants still occnpy the ranch; and it is west about one mile from the Whitman 
mission property. 

"A howitzer found at Fort Walla Walla, under charge of Captain Wilson, by this 
time was brought to bear upon the enemy. Four rounds were fired when the piece 
bursted, wounding Captain Wilson. The Indians then gave way at all points; the 
house and fence were seized and held by the volunteers and the bodies of our men 
were recovered. These positions were held by us until nightfall, when the volunteers 
fell slowly back and returned unmolested, to camp around the cabin of La Rocque dur- 
ing the night." 

An important event transpired that clay which it would be more proper to desig- 
nate as a disgraceful tragedy enacted, that is omitted from this official report. The 
following is an account of it, as given to the writer by Lewis McMorris, 1 who was 
present at the time and saw what he narrated. The hospital supplies were packed on 
mules in charge of McMorris, and had just reached the La Rocque cabin where the 
first engagement had taken place. The surgeon in charge had decided to use it as a 
hospital in which to place those wounded in the battle, and McMorris was unpacking 
the mules. Near it the unfortunate Lieutenant J. M. Burrows lay dead, and several 
wounded were being attended to. The combatants had passed on up the valley, and 
the distant detonation of their guns could be heard. The flag of truce prisoners were 
there under guard, and everyone seemed electrified with suppressed excitement. A 
wounded man came in with his shattered arm dangling at his side, and reported Cap- 
tain Bennett killed at the front. This added to the excitement, and the attention of 
all was more or less attracted to the wounded man, when some one said, " Look out, or 
the Indians will get away !" At this, seemingly, every one yelled, '"Shoot 'em ! Shoot 
'em !" and on the instant there was a rattle of musketry on all sides. 2 

1 G. W. Miller of Company H, now residing near Dayton, and William Nixon of Company I now living seven miles from 
that place, were both present when the prisoners were killed, the latter having one of them in charge at the time, and both confirm 
the statements of McMorris. 

2 From the statements of the various parties interviewed who witnessed this event, the writer is impressed with a belief 
that Colonel Kelly said, in regard to the prisoners, as be rode from the cabin to the front, "Tie them or kill them, I don't care a 
damn which ;" and that the refusal of the big Indian and the Chief to be tied, furnished the opportunity for killing them their 
captors were anxiously wishing for. 


What followed was so quick, and there were so many acting, that McMorris could 
not see it in detail, though all was transpiring within a few yards of, and around him. 
It was over in a minute, and three of the five prisoners were dead ; another was 
wounded, knocked senseless and supposed to be dead, who afterwards recovered con- 
sciousness, and was shot to put him out of misery, while the fifth was spared because 
he was a Nez Perce. McMorris remembers some of the events that marked the 
tragedy, however, such as an impression on his mind of an attempt by the prisoners to 
escape, that started the shooting ; l that everybody was firing, because they were excited 
and the target was an Indian ; that he saw no evidence of an attempt to escape, except 
from being murdered ; that they were killed while surrounded by, and mingled among, 
the whites ; and that but one Indian offered to defend his life. The prisoner offering re- 
sistance was a powerful Willamette Indian called "Jim," or Wolf Skin, who, having a 
knife secreted upon his person, drew it and fought desperately. " I could hear that knife 
whistle in the air," said McMorris, " as he brandished it, or struck at the soldier with 
whom he was struggling." It lasted but a moment, when another soldier, approach- 
ing from behind, dealt him a blow on the head with a gun that broke in his skull and 
stretched him apparently lifeless upon the ground.' All were scalped in a few 
minutes, and later the body of Yellow Bird, the great Walla Walla Chief, was. muti- 
lated in a way that should entitle those who did it to a prominent niche in the ghoulish 
temple erected to commemorate the infamous acts of soulless men. Let us draw a 
screen upon this affair that has cast a shadow over the otherwise bright record of 
Oregon volunteers in that war, remembering, when we do so, that but few of them 
were responsible for its occurrence. 

With the coming day the struggle was renewed, of which Colonel Kelly gives the 
following account : 

"Early on the morning of the eighth the Indians appeared with increased forces, amounting to 
fully six hundred warriors. They were posted as usual in the thick brush by the river — among the 
sage bushes and sand knolls, and on the surrounding hills. This day Lieutenant Pillow with Com- 
pany A, and Lieutenant Hannon with Company H, were ordered to take and hold the brush skirt- 
ing the river and the sage bushes on the plain. Lieutenant Fellows with Company F was directed 
to take and keep the possession of the point at the foot of the hill. Lieutenant Jeffries with Com- 
pany B, Lieutenant Hand with Company I, and Captain Cornoyer with Company K, were posted 
on three several points on the hills with orders to maintain them and to assail the enemy on other 
points of the same hills. As usual the Indians were driven from their position, although they 
fought with skill and bravery. 

" On the ninth they did not make their appearance until about ten o'clock in the morning, and 
then in. somewhat diminished numbers. As I had sent to Fort Henrietta for companies D and E, 
and expected them on the tenth, I thonght it best to act on the defensive and hold our positions 
which were the same as on the eighth, until we could get an accession to our forces sufficient to 
enable us to assail their rear and cut off their retreat. An attack was made during the day on 
Companies A and H in the brushwood, and upon B on the hill, both of which were repulsed with 
great gallantry by those companies, and with considerable loss to the enemy. Companies F, I and 
K also did great honor to themselves in repelling all approaches to their positions, although in do- 
ing so one man in Company F and one in Company I were severely wounded. Darkness as usual 
closed the combat, by the enemy withdrawing from the field. Owing to the inclemency of the 
night the companies on the hill were withdrawn from their several positions, Company B abandon- 

1 The question is a disputed one as to whether it was the Chief or the big Indian who drew a knife and fought so desper- 
ately. All of those interviewed, who saw the transaction, except one, affirm positively that they know that it was not the Chi«f. 

2 The other gentlemen interviewed, who witnessed the affair, state that it was a refusal on the part of Peu-peu-mox-mox to 
be tied that started the struggle, which was instantly followed by the massacre. 


ing its rifle pits which were made by the men of that company for its protection. At early dawn on 
the next day the Indians were observed from our camp to be in possession of all points held by us 
on the preceding day. Upon seeing them Lieutenant Mc A uliff of Company B gallantly observed 
that his company had dug those holes and after breakfast they would have them again, and well was 
his declaration fulfilled, for in less than half an hour, the enemy was driven from the pits and fled 
to an adjoining hill which they had occupied the day before. This position was at once assailed. 
Captain Cornoyer with Company K, and a portion of Company I, being mounted, gallantly charged 
the enemy on his right flank, while Lieutenant McAuliff with Company B dismounted, rushed up 
the hill in face of a heavy fire and scattered them in all directions. They at once fled in all di- 
rections to return to this battlefield no more, and thus ended our long-contested fight. 

•'In making my report I cannot say too much in praise of the conduct of the officers of the 
several companies and most of the soldiers under their command. They did their duty bravely and 
well during those four trying days of battle. To Second Major Chinn, who took charge of the 
companies in the bush by the river, credit is due for bravery and skill; also, to Assistant Adjutant 
Monroe Atkinson for his efficiency and zeal as well in the field as in the camp. And here while 
giving to the officers and men of the regiment the praise that is justly due, I cannot omit the name 
of Hon Nathan Olney, although he is not one of the volunteers. Having accompanied me in the 
capacity of Indian agent, I requested him to act as my aid, on account of his admitted skill in 
Indian warfare; and to his wisdom in council and daring courage on the field of battle, I am much 
indebted, and shall ever appreciate his worth. 

" Companies D and E having arrived from Fort Henrietta on the evening of the tenth, the 
next morning I followed with all the available troops along the Nez Perce's trail in pursuit of the 
Indians. On Mill creek, about twelve miles from here, we passed through their village numbering 
one hnndred and ninety-six fires, which had been deserted the night before. Much of their pro- 
visions was scattered by the wayside, indicating that they had fled in great haste to the north. We 
pursued them until it was too dark to follow the track of their horses, when we camped on Coppei 
creek. On the twelfth we continued the pursuit until we passed some distance beyond the station 
of Brooke, Noble and Bumford on the Touchet, when we found the chase was in vain, as 
many of our horses were completely broken down and the men on foot. Wc therefore returned 
and arrived in camp on yesterday evening with about one hundred head of cattle which the Indians 
left scattered along the trail in their flight. 

" On the eleventh, while in pursuit of the enemy, I received a letter from Narcisse Raymond 
bv the hands of Tin-tin-metzy , a friendly chief (which I enclose), asking our protection of the 
French and friendly Indians under his cherge. 

" On the morning of the twelfth, I dispatched Captain Cornoyer with his command to their 
relief. Mr. Olney, who accompanied them, returned to camp this evening, and reports that Cap- 
tain Cornoyer will return to-morrow with Mr. Baymond and his people, who now feel greatly re- 
lieved from their critical situation. Mr. Olney learned from these friendly Indians what we before 
stronglv believed, that the Palouses, Walla Wallas, Umatillas, Cayuses, and Stock Whitley's band 
of De Shutes Indians, were all engaged in the battle on the Walla Walla. These Indians also in- 
formed Mr. Olney that after the battle, the Palouses, Walla Wallas, and Umatillas have gone 
partly to the Grand Ronde and partly to the country of the Nez Perces; and Stock Whitley, dis- 
gusted with the manner in which the Cayuses fought in the battle, has abandoned them and gone 
to the Yakima country to join his forces with those of Kamiakin. We have now the undisputed 
possession of the country south of Snake river, and I would suggest the propriety of retaining 
this possession until such time as it can be occupied by the regular troops. The Indians have left 
much of their stock behind, which will doubtless be lost to us if we go away. The troops here 
will not be in a situation for some time to go to the Palouse country, as our horses at present are 
too much jaded to endure the journey, and we have no boats to cross Snake river, no timber to 
make them nearer than this place; but I would suggest the propriety of following up the Indians 
with all possible speed, now that their hopes are blighted and their spirits are broken. Unless this 
is done they will perhaps rally again. 

" To-day [December 14, 1855,) I received a letter from Governor Stevens, dated yesterday, 





which I enclose. You will perceive that he is in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war. With 
his views I fully concur. 

" I must earnestly ask that supplies may be sent forward to us without delay. For the last 
three days none of the volunteers, except the two companies from Fort Henrietta, have had any 
flour. None is here, and but little at that post. We are now living on beef and potatoes, which 
are found en cache, and the men are becoming much discontented with this mode of living. Cloth- 
ing for the men is much needed as the winter approaches. To-morrow we will remove to a more 
suitable point, where grass can be obtained in greater abundance for our worn-out horses. A place 
has been selected about two miies above Whitman station, on the same (north) side of the Walla 
Walla, consequently I will abandon this fort, named in honor of Captain Bennnatt of Company F 
who now sleeps beneath its stockade, and whose career of usefulness and bravery was here so sadly 
but nobly closed. 

"Very respectfully your obedient servant, 

"James K. Kelly, 
" Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Left Column." 
"W. H. Faerar, 
" Adjutant of Regiment O. M. V. 


Captain Charles Bennett, Company F, killed. 

Lieutenant J. M. Burrows, Company H, killed. 

Private S. S. Van Hagerman, Company I, killed. 

Private Kelso, Company A, mortally wounded. 

Private Jasper Flemming, Company A, mortally wounded. 

Private Henry Crow, Company H, mortally wounded. 

Private Joseph Sturdevant, Company B, mortally wounded. 

Captain Lyman B. Monson, Company I, wounded. 

Captain A. V. Wilson, Company A, wounded. 

Captain Davis Layton, Company H, wounded. 

Private Casper Snook, Company H, wounded. 

Private T. J. Payne, Company H, wounded. 

Private F. Crabtree, Company H, wounded. 

Private Nathan Fry, Company H, wounded. 

Private Isaac Miller, Company H, wounded. 

Private A. M. Addington, Company H, wounded. 

Private J. B. Gervais, Company K, wounded. 

Private G. W. Smith, Company B, wounded. 

Private Franklin Duval, Company A, wounded. 

Sergeant Major Isaac Miller, wounded. 

Of the enemy's loss, Colonel Kelly stated that it was probably 75 killed ; that 39 
bodies of dead Indians had been found by the volunteers, and that many of their dead 
were taken from the field. 




Governor Stevens, in February, 1856, addressed a communication to the Secretary 
of War giving a brief outline of his connection with the war up to that time, from 
which we make a few extracts. He had arrived at Hellgate, in what now is Montana, 
on his way back from his treaty tour, when met by chiefs of the Nez Perce tribe, and 
a council followed. He had learned of the Indian outbreak that cut off his direct 
communication with Olympia, and the following from the letter referred to, is his ac- 
count of succeeding events: 

" The result of our conference was most satisfactory. The whole party, numbering fourteen 
men, among whom were Spotted Eagle, Looking Glass, and Three Feathers, principal chiefs among 
the Nez Perces, expressed their determination to accornjnmy me, and share any danger to be encoun- 
tered. They expressed a desire that, aftercrossiug the mountains, I should go to their country, where 
a large force of their young men would accompany me to the Dalles, and protect us with their lives 
against any enemy. 

" Having replenished my train with all the animals to be had on November 14, we pushed for- 
ward, crossed the Bitter Root Mountains the twentieth, in snow two and a half to three feet deep, 
and reached the Coeur d'Alene mission the twenty-fifth, taking the Coeur d'Alenes entirely by 
surprise. They had not thought it possible we would cross the mountains so late in the season. 

"With the Coeur d'Alenes I held a council, and found them much excited, on a balance for 
peace or for war, and a chance word might turn them either way. Bumors of all kinds met us 
here : that the troops had fought a battle with the Yakimas, and drove them across the Columbia 
towards the Spokane, and that the Walla Wallas, Cayuses and Umatillas were in arms, and that 
they had been joined by a party of Nez Perces. The accounts were of so contradictory a nature 
that nothing certain could be ascertained from them, excepting that the several tribes below were 
in arms, blocking up our road, and had threatened to cut off my party in any event. However, I 
determined to push to the Spokane. 

" The Spokanes were even more sui-prised than the Coeur d'Alenes at seeing us. Three hours 
before my arrival they heai'd I was going to the settlements bv way of New York. I immediately 
called a council; sent to Fort Colville for Mr. McDonald in charge of that post of the Hudson's 
Bay Company; sent also for the Jesuit fathers at that point. They arrived. A council was held, 
at which the whole Spokane nation was represented. The Coeur d'Alenes and Colville Indians also 
were present. 

" The Spokanes and Colville Indians evinced extreme hostility of feeling; spoke of the war 
below; wanted it stopped; said the whites were wrong. The belief was current that Peu-peu-mox- 
mox would cut off my party, as he had repeatedly threatened. They had not joined in the war, 
but yet would make no promise to remain neutral. If the Indians now at war were driven into 
their country they would not answer for the consequences; probably many of the Spokanes would 
join them After a stormy council of several days, the Spokanes, Coeur d'Alenes, and Colvilles 
were entirely conciliated, and promised they would reject all overtures of the hostile Indians, and 
continue the firm friends of the whites. 


" Having added to my party, and organized, etc., we thence made a forced march to the Nez 
Perce country, striking the Clear Water at Lapwai. Here we found assembled the whole Nez 
Perce nation, excepting those in the buffalo country. Mr. Craig had received letters which informed 
me that the whole Walla Walla valley was blocked up with hostile Indians, and the Nez Perces 
said it would be impossible to go through. 

" I called a council, and proposed to them that 150 of their young men should accompany me 
to the Dalles. Without hesitation they agreed to go. Whilst in the council, making arrangements 
for our movements, neivs came that a force of gallant Oregon volunteers, four hundred strong, had met 
the Indians in the Walla Walla valley, and after four days hard fighting, having a number of officers 
and men killed and wounded had completely routed the enemy, driving them across Snake river, and 
towards the Nez Perce country. The next day, I pushed forward, accompanied by sixty-nine Nez 
Perces, well armed, and reached Walla Walla without encountering any hostile Indians. They 
had all been driven across Snake river below us by the Oregon troops. 

" It is now proper to inquire, what would have been the condition of my party had not the 
Oregon troops vigorously pushed into the field and gallantly defeated the enemy ? 

" The country between the Blue mountains and the Columbia was overrun with Indians, num- 
bering 1,000 to 1,200 warriors; including the force at Priest Rapids under Kamaiakun, who had 
sworn to cut me off; it was completely blocked up. One effect of the campaign of the regulars and 
volunteers in the Yakima country under Brigadier General Raines, was to drive Kamaiakun and his 
people on our side of the Columbia river, and thus endanger our movement from the Spokane to 
the Nez Perce country. Thus we had been hemmed in by a body of hostile Indians through whom 
we could have only forced our way with extreme difficulty, and at great loss of life. We might all 
have been sacrificed in the attempt. To the opening the way to my party, lam solely indebted to the 
Oregon volunteers. Peu-peu mox-mox, the celebrated chief of the Walla Wallas, entertained an ex- 
treme hostility towards myself and party, owing to imaginary wrongs he supposed had been inflicted 
upon him in the treaty concluded with tli<> Gayuses and Walla Wallas last June, and had been known 
repeatedly to threaten that I should never reach the Dalles. He was the first to commence hostil- 
ties by plundering Port Walla Walla, and destroying a large amount of property belonging to the 
United States Indian Department. ****** * 

" At Walla Walla I found some 25 settlers — the remainder having fled to the Dalles for pro- 
tection. With these were 100 friendly Indians. Special Indian agent B F. Shaw, Colonel in the 
Washington Territory militia, was on the ground, and I at once organized the district, placed him 
in command, and directed him, if necessary, to fortify, but at all events, to maintain his ground 
should the Oregon troops be disbanded before another force could take the field. The Nez Perce 
auxiliaries were disbanded, and returned home." 


" Thus we had reached a place of safety unaided, excepting by the fortunate movements of the 
Oregon troops. Not a single man had been pushed forward to meet us, although it was well known 
we should cross the mountains about a certain time, and arrive at Walla Walla about the time we 
did. Why was this ? Arrangements had been made with Major Raines by acting Governor Mason, 
to push forward a force under Colonel Shaw to meet me at Spokane about the time of my arrival 
there. A company had been enlisted, organized, and marched to Fort Vancouver to obtain equip- 
ments, rations, and transportation, which Major Raines had promised both Governor Mason and 
Colonel Shaw should be promptly furnished them. Some little delay ensued, aud in the' meantime, 
Major General Wool arrived, who immediately declined equipping the company, as promised by 
Major Raines, and stated that he could not in any manner recognize volunteers, or furnish them 
equipments or transportation, and declining to supply their place with regular troops, of whom, at 
Vancouver alone, were some 350 men. 

" When remonstrated with by Capt. Wm. McKay, in command of the company, to push for- 
ward to my assistance, when informed of the object for which the company was enlisted, and that, 
if it was not pushed forward at once, or if some other force was not sent, Governor Stevens and his 
party would be in the most imminent danger, the General replied that, in his opinion, the danger 


was greatly exaggerated; that probably Governor Stevens would be able to protect himself, but if 
he could not, then Governor Stevens could obtain an escort from General Harney. 

" What a reply was that ? A moiety of the Indians now in arms had defeated a detachment of 
100 United States regulars Major Raines had placed on record his opinion that an insufficient 
force would be defeated by these Indians, and my party was supposed to number no more than 25 
men. Yet Major General Wool very cooly says, ' Governor Stevens can take care of himself.' So, 
too, in the remark that I could obtain aid from General Harney. Did General Wool know that the 
distance from Fort Benton to the supposed position of General Harney, was greater than the dis- 
tance from Fort Benton to the Dalles, and that to obtain aid from him would require not less than 
six months, and that an express to reach him must pass through the entire breadth of the Sioux? 
Such ignorance shows great incapacity, and is inexcusable. 

" Mr. Secretary — Major General Wool, commanding the Pacific Division, neglected and re 
fused to send a force to the relief of myself and party, when known to be in imminent danger, 
and believed by those who were less capable of judging, to be coming on to certain death, and this 
when he had at his command an efficient force of regular troops. He refused to sanction the 
agreement made between Governor Mason and Major Raines for troops to be sent to my assistance, 
and ordered them to disband. It was reserved for the Oregon troops to rescue us. 

" The only demonstration made by Major Raines resulted in showing his utter incapacity to 
command in the field. As has heretofore been said, his expedition against the Yakimas effected 
nothing but driving the Indians into the very country through which I must pass to reach the 

" I therefore prefer charges against General Wool. 1 accuse him of utter and signal incapacity, of 
criminal neglect of my safety. I ask for an. investigation into the matter , and for his removal from com- 

The death of Peu-peu-mox-mox, the result of the Walla Walla battle, the tran- 
quilizing influence of Governor Steven's councils with the northern Indians, the pro- 
nounced friendship of the Nez Perces, joined to the fact that winter is not a favorable 
time for Indians to maintain war, all combined to force a cessation of hostilities on the 
part of the disaffected tribes. They did not sue for peace, but disappeared. They 
had not been badly defeated ; in fact, they withdrew from besieging the volunteers, 
not because they were vanquished, but because of the arrival of reinforcements, sup- 
posed to be much more numerous than they were. The winter passed with but little 
to record worthy of note. The Oregon volunteers held possession of the country, 
feasted occasionally and starved generally, were poorly armed, poorly equipped, poorly 
mounted, poorly housed during the cold weather, yet they held possession of the 
country. A large mead of praise is due those Oregon soldiers for their operations in 
that war ; where they gave the savage his first rebuke, which sent terror to sit at the 
council fire of the hostile and paralyze his efforts to inaugurate war. They had been 
met and forced to fly from their own country, though not disastrously defeated ; and 
the effect was not only disheartening to them, but it caused the savage to prefer peace. 
During the winter Colonel Kelly's command camped in various places in the valley, 
where water was convenient, wood handy, and grazing abundant, and occasionally they 
received supplies in limited quantities from the Dalles, but relied largely upon meat 
for food. As stated by the Governor, there were a few French settlers and about 150 
friendly Indians, including children, in the valley; and they were placed under pro- 
tection of Captain Cornoyer, whose company camped with them during the winter for 
that purpose. 



Leaving the Oregon troops camped in the valley, let us follow events west of the 
mountains ; and an authoritative way of doing this would seem to be by a perusal of 
the following detail of what occurred there, as given by Governor Stevens, under date 
of February 19, 1856. 

"After making my arrangements in the Walla Walla valley, I pushed to Vancouver, coming 
down the trail, the river being still closed, conferred with Major Raines, and then hastened to 
Olympia as rapidly as possible, reaching my home on the nineteenth of January. The Legislature 
were still in session; the greatest alarm prevailed throughout the Sound. The people were living 
in block houses. The enemy had gained the advantage, and the regulars and volunteers had re- 
tired before them. Reinforcements were coming from the other side of the mountains to the hos- 
tile Indians. In obedience to my own convictions of duty, and in response to the sentiments of 
this entire community, I issued my proclamation, calling for six companies of volunteers for the 
defense of the Sound — appointed enrolling officers for the raising of three companies on the Col- 
umbia river, to operate east of the Cascades; and after remaining in my office but ten days, went 
down the Sound to visit the friendy Indians, confer with the inhabitants, and make the necessary 
arrangements for the troops to take the field. 

" Since my arrival on the Sound, Seattle has been attacked, and everything outside of its line 
of defenses burned, except a small place named Alki, on the same bay with Seattle. The wbole 
county of King has been devastated. Rumors of all the places being attacked, have reached as 
daily. The Northern Indians have commenced making depredations. They are meditating to send 
16 war canoes against us. The canoes carry 75 men each, and can be urged with great velocity 
through stormy seas. To meet which danger, I have requested Captain Gansevoort, now com- 
manding the naval forces of the Sound, to keep the steamer Active cruising between Port Town- 
send, Bellingham Bay, and Seattle; and I have advised Governor Douglass, of Vancouver's Island, 
of the fact, and requested him to keep one of the Hudson's Bay steamers cruising in the waters of 
his jurisdiction, and to keep me advised of the movements of the Indians alleged to be hostile. 

" I have also raised a force of friendly Indians to operate against the hostiles. They are 
already in the field; are supported by the available strength of the northern battalion of the Wash- 
ington Territory volunteers, and have struck two decisive blows. The central battalion have moved 
from this quarter, and are now establishing a depot at Montgomery's: will on Friday or Saturday 
move on the Puyallup, and will be reinforced by friendly Indians. 

" The most cordial relations exist between myself and Lieutenant Colonel Casey, commanding 
the Puget Sound district, who appreciates fully the imminence of our danger, and who urges me 
to push into the field all the volunteers in my power. We shall act in concert throughout. 

" Since my arrival at the Sound, I have re-visited the Columbia river, and conferred with 
Colonel Wright, Ninth Infantry, in command of the Columbia river district. By letter, I have 
urged both Colonel Wright and Major Raines, previously in command of the district, to dispatch 
troops to the interior. They are not permitted to do so by the stringent orders of General Wool, 
and knowing the necessity of prompt action, I have had no alternative but to call out volunteers. 

" In Colonel Wright I have entire confidence, and if he were allowed too act according to his own 
judgment there would be nothing to apprehend. But it seems to be the determination of General 
Wool to play the part of the dog in the manger —neither to act himself, nor to let others act. 

"As commander-in-chief of the militia of Washington, and in view of my oath of office, I have 
taken the responsibility to act; every energy will be devoted to the work. The Indians now hostile 
on this side of the mountains will soon, I trust, be struck, and peace restored to our distracted 

On the twenty-second of January, 1856, Governor Stevens issued his proclama- 
tion calling for six months' volunteers, and the following is what we have been able to 
learn regarding the result of that call : 





I I. Stevens, Commander-in-Chief. 

James Tilton, Adjutant General. 

William W. Miller, Quartermaster and Commissary General. 

J. K. Hurd, Assistant Quartermaster and Commissary General. 

B. Frank Shaw, Lieutenant-Colonel. 
Walter W. DeLacy, Adjutant. 

C. H. Armstrong, Regimental Quartermaster in field. 

Charles E. Weed, Assistant Quartermaster, stationed at Olympia. 
Warren Gove, Assistant Quartermaster, stationed at Steilacoom. 
M. B. Millard, Assistant Quartermaster, stationed at Portland. 
M. R. Hathaway, Assistant Quartermaster, stationed at Vancouver. 
A. H. Robie, Assistant Quartermaster, stationed at Dalles. 


*Company C — Captain B. F. Henness; rank and file 67 men 

* J Company D — Captain J. H. Achilles; rank and file 44 men 

* f Company I — Captain Bluford Miller; rank and file 40 men 

* f Company K — Captain F. M. P. Goff; rank and file 101 men 

* 2 Company M — Captain H. M. Chase; rank and file 53 men 

3 Company N — Captain Richards; rank and file , 74 men 

* Washington Mounted Rifles — Captain H. J. G. Maxon; rank and file 95 men 

Clark County Rangers — Captain William Kelley; rank and file 81 men 

4 Pioneer Company — Captain Hicks 14 men 

Walla Walla Company — Captain Ford ; rank and file 29 men 

Total rank and file ". _ • • ■ • 598 men 

1 Company D was first commanded by Captain Achilles, and second by First Lieutenant Powell. The horses used for the 

mounted force were partly furnished by the Government and partly by the volunteers. 

2 Company M was composed of 10 white men and 43 Nez Perce Indians, furnishing their own horses. 

3 Company N was first commanded by Captain Richards, and second by Captain Williams. 

i A portion of the Pioneer Company after the march of Lieutenant-Colonel Shaw's command into the Walla Walla country 

performed duty as mounted men west of the Cascades. 
* Served east of the Cascade mountains. 
t Company raised in Oregon. 


Company A — Captain E. Lander; rank and file. 53 men 

i Company B— Captain Gilmore Hays; rank and file 52 men 

2 Company E— Captain Riley; rank and file 21 men 

Company F— Captain C. W. Swindal; rank and file 40 men 

3 Company G — Captain J. J. H. Van Bokelin; rank and file 55 men 

Company H— Captain R. V. Peabody; rank and file 42 men 

4 Company I — Captain S. D. Howe; rank and file 35 men 

Company L — Captain E. Warbass; rank and file 91 men 

Train Guard — Captain O. Shead; rank and file 47 men 

Pioneer Company — Captain J. White; rank and file 40 men 

Nesqually Ferry Guards ; rank and file 9 men 

Total rank and file 485 men 

1 Company B was commanded first by Captain Hays, second by Captain Eabbeson, and last by Captain Burntrager. 

2 Company E was first commanded by Captain Biley, and second by First Lieutenant Cole. 

3 Company G was first commanded by Captain Yan Bokelin, and second by Captain Daniel Smalley. 
i Company I was first commanded by Captain Howe, and second by Captain Beam. 



Snohomish Chiefs— Pat Kanim, John Taylor; rank and file 82 men 

Squaxon — Lieutenant Wosley Gosnell; rank and file 15 men 

Chehalis— Captain Sidney Ford; rank and file 17 men 

Cowlitz — Pierre Charles; rank and file 9 men 

Total rank and file 123 men 


Soon after the battle of Walla Walla, Lieut. -Col. Kelly went temporarily to the 
Willamette valley, and Captain Thomas R. Cornelius was elected Colonel of the 
regiment, on the twenty-first of December. Capt. N. A. Cornoyer was soon after this 
chosen Major. Upon Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly's return from the capital with a 
Colonel's commission and advices from below, a move in search of the hostiles was 
determined upon. The French settlers and friendly Indians were ordered immediately 
to the Dalles, as a force could not be longer spared for their protection; and, March 
10, 1856, the command left their camp at the present Patrick Lyon ranch on Mill 
creek, and moved north. That night was passed at the mouth of Copei creek, the 
next farther down the Touchet, from where they crossed the country, reaching Fish 
Hook Bend on Snake river in the afternoon of the twelfth. On the opposite side of 
that stream was an Indian village, the inhabitants of which, supposing the whites pos- 
sessed no means of crossing, were fierce in their insulting cries and gestures, and jubi- 
lant at the supposed discomfiture of the baffled soldiers. One, an evident leader, had 
made himself especially conspicuous in riding up and down the bank, swinging his 
red blanket in defiance, and calling on them to come over, when a chance shot brought 
him to the ground. This was followed by launching the boats, and the village fled in 
consternation, when they saw their enemies coming across to them. Soon the command 
had reached the north bank of the stream, when pursuit was made. During the 
remainder of that day and the thirteenth, scouting parties traversed the country west 
to the Columbia river, along which they passed up to the mouth of the Yakima. 
They reached the first named river, as the rear of the Indian column was in the act of 
crossing it, and killing one of the retreating savages, captured some horses. 

On the fourteenth, the entire command moved up Snake river, until reaching the 
Palouse, they followed it to a point about three miles above its falls. 


The command under Colonel Cornelius remained at this camp for several days. 
Rations had run out, and it became necessary to subsist on horse meat. Several of the 
companies had only been in service a few weeks. They were fresh from their home 
pantries in Oregon, and many of them declared that eating horses gave them an incli- 
nation to stampede for the Dalles. The only thing it seemed to nourish within their 
physical organization was the propensity to travel on the back track, and it took but 
little of that Cayuse horse meat to excite an extensive disposition to " buck." 

One Major declared that, if rations did not arrive that night, he would march his 


command for the Dalles the next day. One Lieutenant undertook to do this without 
waiting for the next day. Speeches were made by the regimental officers. The men 
were told of the disgrace that such a move would bring upon the command to turn 
back in the face of a battle, when there was no danger of starvation ; only because 
they objected to the bill of fare. The Indians had said that they would meet them 
a day's march further on, and to turn back at that point was disgrace inevitable. Col- 
onel Cornelius, backed by Colonel Kelly, who said he would leave his bones to be 
gnawed by coyotes on those plains before he would turn at this stage of the advance, 
joined by Major Cornoyer, who was willing to eat either horse or dog, if it would put 
his command in front of the enemy ; sustained by all the officers and men who had 
fought at Walla Walla or hunted Kamaiakun in the Yakima plains, and a portion of 
the new recruits; finally dissuaded the disaffected ones from leaving before another day's 
time had been given for supplies to arrive from the Dalles. 

Within the time specified the provisions arrived, and the the next day saw the 
command on the march. The Indians failed to give battle, or show themselves at the 
place designated as a desirable one for trying strength with the whites ; and the vol- 
unteers pushed on until arriving at White Bluffs on the Columbia river, where they 
laid over for several days. On the sixth of April they crossed to the west side of the 
Columbia river at the mouth of the Yakima, from where their march was slowly con- 
tinued in the direction of Wallula. Reaching the last-named place, a limited amount 
of supplies were obtained, and a campaign for the Dalles, through Kamaiakun's 
country, was determined upon. 


About the sixteenth of April, this force reached the mouth of Satas creek on the 
Yakima river, where they went into camp. A dividing ridge only shut out from them a 
view of the valley of the reservation, where they had found plenty of cattle the fall before. 
Since leaving the Palouse Falls, one-half their subsistence had been upon horse meat 
and their bowels yearned for the flesh j>ots of the Yakima.. In the morning after the 
arrival at this place, Captain Hembree, with five or six men, crossed the creek, and com- 
menced ascending the bluffs to the north. He was going a short distance to see if any 
beef cattle could be discovered, and, while passing to the right of a hill, the volunteers 
in camp discovered some forty loose horses galling around the opposite side of it 
towards him. Suddenly, as those horses reached a point between the camp and the 
Captain, every one of them was found to have an Indian rider ; and the next instant, 
with a savage yell, the Yakimas charged upon the little squad of whites. Captain 
Hembree fell from his horse, and in a minute was scalped and lifeless. Two of the 
assailants were shot by him in the brief struggle, and another was killed by one of the 
soldiers, all of whom broke through the lines and escaped. The Indians carried off 
their dead, but afterwards acknowledged the loss of two braves in the death struggle 
with the white chief. Upon the instant that the attack was discovered the alarm 
was given in camp, and Major Cornoyer, with a few hastily gathered men, dashed 
across to the rescue. They had hardly started when firing was commenced on the 
south side of the creek by the- Indians, who were making a general move to stampede 






the soldiers' horses, but the Major did not halt. He had sallied to save a comrade, 
and never drew reign until the place was reached where his friend lay stretched upon 
the ground, naked, mutilated, dead ; a pitiable sight to look upon ; and those who had 
slain him had escaped. The effort to stampede the horses had failed, because of the 
alarm given when Captain Hembree was attacked. 

That day Major Cornoyer, in command of several companies of the regiment, fol- 
lowed the enemy, and an engagement ensued that resulted in driving the Indians from 
their fortified stronghold, and the killing of six of them with no loss to the whites. 
The ensuing day saw the line of march for the Dalles resumed by the entire force 
among whom was the funeral cortege of the unfortunate Captain Hembree, whose re- 
mains were being taken by his comrades to the friends who had not yet learned of the 
sad greeting that awaited them. Without incident, other than the killing of two In- 
dians on the way who were met in the trail, the volunteers reached Klikitat valley, 
and camped to recruit their stock and received orders for mustering out of service. 
While occupying this camp, April 28, a band of some fifty hostiles made a dash upon 
the grazing stock of the command, and stampeding them, captured 390 head of horses, 
which left the Oregon volunteers dismounted. The regulars at the Dalles came to 
their assistance, but having no orders to pursue the enemy, Kamaiahun was left to fall 
back slowly to the north unmolested. This ended the campaign and service of those 
volunteers from Oregon who had, unaided, held the country east of the Cascades against 
the allied force of the enemy for four months; had met and vanquished them in 
battle ; had humiliated their pride, and left them disorganized. They moved to the 
Dalles and thence down the Columbia to their homes. 


Let us go back now and trace events transpiring in other parts of the Territory 
up to the time when the Oregon troops disbanded. The operations of Governor 
Stevens upon his return to Olympia, and state of the war- west of the Cascades up to 
February 19, 1856, have been given. On the twenty-first of March, less than thirty 
days later, he sent a communication to Jefferson Davis, the then Secretary of War, in 
which occurs the following : 

" I will give a condensed view of the present condition of military operations on the Sound. 

" First — The regular troops now occupy the Muckleshoot prairie as their central position. The 
line of communication to Steilacoom is secured by a block house and ferry at the crossing of the 
Puyallup. A company has been sent to Seattle to move up the Dawamish and open a communica- 
tion with the central position. A block house will be established at the mouth of Cedar creek 
and probably at John Thomas'. The force under Lieutenant Colonel Casey has been very active 
and this gallant officer has made the most favorable impression upon our people. 

" Second — The naval forces occupy Seattle. This place is also held by a companv of volun- 
teers, who, for some days, have been under orders to occupy the line of the Dawamish; and who 
in that duty, will co-operate with the company sent there by Lieutenant Colonel Casey. 

" Third — The Northern battalion have their headquarters at Fort Tilton, near the falls of the 
Snoqualmie. They number about 90 white men, and about the same number of friendly Indians 
under Pat Kanim. They will establish block houses at the prairie above the falls, and on Cedar 
creek, and will extend their scouts to the Muckleshoot and Dawamish. 

"Fourth — To circumscribe the field occupied by the enemy, I have suggested to Captain 
Swartwout, in command of the naval forces, a joint operation upon the lake back of Seattle. A 


block house to be built on the lake at the nearest point to Seattle, a good road opened with Seattle, 
and boats from the navy with one hundred men to be placed on the lakes. Captain Swartwout does 
not, however, by his instructions, feel authorized either to co-operate with the military authorities of 
the Territory, or to take part in any operation carrying his force away from the immediate shores 
of the Sound. I enclose a copy of my letter to Captain Swartwout, and his reply thereto. 

" Fifth — The Central battalion have their headquarters at Council's prairie and at Porter's. 
Their communication with the rear is secured by a block house and ferry at the crossing of the 
Puyallup, and block houses at Montgomery's, at the Yelm prairie, at Nathan Eaton's, and at 
Lowe's. The battalion numbers in the field, including the garrison of Yelm and Montgomery and 
the crossing of the Puyallup, about 150 men. 

Sixth — Our supplies are drawn mainly from the country between this point and the Cowlitz 
Landing. The route is well secured by block houses. 

" Seventh — Lone Tree Point is also held by a volunteer force of ten men. It guards several 
important trails. 

"Eighth — Bellingham Bay has its block house, defended by 15 men of Captain Peabody's 

"Ninth — The Southern battalion, on its arrival on the Sound, will be for the most part dis- 
mounted, and sent to reinforce the Central battalion. The two battalions will then operate up 
"White river towards Nachess pass, co-operating with Lieutenant Colonel Casey. 

" The map of the country east of the Cascades will show the large number of Indians already 
hostile, or who may be incited to hostility — the ease with which they may communicate with each 
other — the great number of excellent trails — the large extent of country embraced in the theatre of 
operations, and the facility with which reinforcements can be sent over the Cascades. Hence the 
importance of the most vigorous and decisive blows, to get possession of the whole country east of 
the Sound, now infested with savages, and to hold in our hands the routes over the Cascades, be- 
fore they become practicable in May, and hence the necessity of the most vigorous measures east of the 
Cascades, in order that the Indians may be simultaneously struck in the Yakima country." 

Thus matters stood west of the Cascades March 12, 1856. East of the mount- 
ains, the Oregon troops had just reached the Columbia river on their way into the 
Yakima country to strike a blow there, doing the very thing that Governor Stevens 
considered important, without knowing that he entertained those opinions. The reg- 
ulars had started from the Dalles for Walla Walla, and were about five miles on the 
road in that direction, when a courier reached them with news of a blow struck by the 
Indians at a point least expected. 



Cascades, W. T., April 6, 1856. 

" My Dear Put — We have had a little " tea party" since you left, and I will try 
and give you a brief description of the same : 

" On Wednesday, March 26, at about 8:30 a. m., after the men had gone to their 
work on the two bridges of the new railway, mostly on the bridge near Bush's house, 
the Yakimas came down on us. There was a line of them from Mill creek above us 
to the big point at the head of the falls, firing simultaneously on the men; and the 
first notice we had of them was their bullets and the crack of their guns. Of our 
men, at the first fire, one was killed and several wounded. I will give you a list here- 
inafter. Our men on seeing the Indians all ran for our store through a shower of 
bullets, except three who started down stream for the middle block house, distant one 
and a half miles. Bush and his family also run into our store, leaving his own house 
vacant. The Watkins family came to the store after a Dutch boy, who was lame from 
a cut in the foot — had been shot in their house. Watkins, Finlay, and Baily were at 
work on the new warehouse on the island, around which the water was now high 
enough to run about three feet deep under the bridges. There was grand confusion in 
the store at first ; and Sinclair, of Walla Walla, going to the railroad door to look out, 
was shot from the bank above the store and instantly killed. Some of us then com- 
menced getting the guns and rifles, which were ready loaded, from behind the counter. 
Fortunately, about an hour before there had been left with us for transportation below, 
nine United States government rifles with cartridge boxes and ammunition. These 
saved us. As the upper story of the house was abandoned, Smith, the cook, having 
come below, and as the stairway was outside where we dare not go, the stovepipe was 
hauled down, the hole enlarged with axes, and a party of men crawled up, and the 
upper part of the house was soon secured. We were surprised that the Indians had 
not rushed into the upper story, as there was nothing or nobody to prevent them. 

" Our men soon got some shots at the Indians on the bank above us. I saw Bush 
shoot an Indian, the first one killed, who was drawing a bead on Mrs. Watkins as she 
was running for our store. He dropped instantly. Alexander and others mounted 
into the gable under the roof, and from there was done most of our firing, it being the 
best place of observation. In the meantime we were barricading in the store, making 
portholes «and firing when opportunity presented. But the Indians were soon very 


cautious about exposing themselves. I took charge of the store, Dan Bradford of the 
second floor, and Alexander of the garret and roof. 

" The steamer Mary was lying in the mouth of Mill creek, and the wind was 
blowing hard down stream. When we saw Indians running toward her and heard the 
shots, we supposed she would be taken ; and as she lay just out of our sight, and we 
saw smoke rising from her, concluded she was burning, but what was our glad surprise 
after a while to see her put out and run across the river. I will give an account of the 
attack on her hereinafter. 

" The Indians now returned in force to us, and we gave every one a shot who 
showed himself. The} r were nearly naked, painted red, and had guns and bows and 
arrows. After a while Finlay came creeping around the lower point of the island 
toward our house. We halloed to him to lie down behind a rock, and he did so. He 
called that he could not get to the store as the bank above us was covered with 
Indians. He saw Watkin's house burn while there. The Indians first took out all 
they wanted — blankets, clothes, guns, etc. By this time the Indians had crossed in 
canoes to the island, and we saw them coming, as we supposed, after Finlay. We then 
saw Watkins and Bailey running around the river side towards the place where Finlay 
was, and the Indians in full chase after them. As our own men came around the 
point in full view, Bailey was shot through the arm and leg. He continued on, and, 
plunging into the river, swam to the front of our store and came in safely, except for 
his wounds. He narrowly escaped going over the falls. Finlay also swam across and 
got in unharmed, which was w r onderful, as there was a shower of bullets around them. 

" Watkins next came running around the point, and we called to him to lie down 
lie behind a rock, but before he could do so was shot in the wrist, the ball going up 
the arm and out above the elbow. He dropped behind a rock just as the pursuing 
Indians came following around the point, but we gave them so hot a reception from 
our house that they backed out and left poor Watkins where he lay. We called to 
Watkins to lie still and we would get him off; but we were not able to do so until 
after the arrival from the Dalles of the steamer Mary with troops — two days and 
nights afterwards. During this time Watkins fainted several times from weakness 
and exposure, the weather being very cold, and he was stripped down to his under- 
clothes for swimming. When he fainted he would roll down the steep bank into the 
river, and the ice-cold water reviving him, he would crawl back under fire to his re- 
treat behind the rock. Meantime his wife and children were in the store, in full view, 
and moaning piteously at his terrible situation. He died from exhaustion two days 
after he was rescued. 

" The Indians were now pitching into us ' right smart.' They tried to burn us 
out ; threw rocks and firebrands, hot irons, pitch wood — everything onto the roof that 
would burn. But you will recollect that for a short distance back the bank inclined 
toward the house, and we could see and shoot the Indians who appeared there. So 
they had to throw from such a distance that the largest rocks and bundles of fire did 
not quite reach us ; and what did, generally rolled off the roof. Sometimes the roof 
got on fire, and we cut it out, or with cups of brine drawn from pork barrels, put it out 
or with long sticks shoved off the fire balls. The kitchen roof troubled us the most. 


How they did pepper us with rocks ; some of the big ones would shake the house all 

" There were now 40 men, women and children in the house — 4 women and 18 
men that could could fight, and J 8 wounded men and children. The steamer Wasco 
was on the Oregon side of the 'river. We saw her steam up and leave for the Dalles. 
Shortly after the steamer Mary also left. She had to take Atwell's fence rails for 
wood. So passed the day, during which the Indians had burned Iman's two houses, 
your saw-mill and houses, and the lumber yards at the mouth of Mill creek. At day- 
light they set fire to your new warehouse on the island, making it light as day around 
us. I suppose they reserved this building for night that we might not get Watkins 
off. They did not attack us at night, but the second morning commenced as lively as 
ever. We had no water, but did have about two dozen ale and a few bottles of whisky. 
These gave out during the clay. During the night a Spokane Indian who was travel- 
ing with Sinclair, and was in the store with us, volunteered to get a pail of water from 
the river. I consented, and he stripped himself naked, jumped out and down the 
bank, and was back in no time. By this time, we looked for the steamer from the 
Dalles, and were greatly disappointed at her non-arrival. We weathered it out during 
the day, every man keeping his post, and never relaxing in vigilance. Every moving 
object, shadow, or susjucious bush on the hill received a shot. The Indians must have 
thought the house a bombshell. To our ceaseless vigilance I ascribe our safety. Night 
came again ; we saw Sheppard's house burn ; Bush's house near by was also fired, 
and kept us in light until about 4 a. m., when darkness returning, I sent the Spokane 
Indian for water from the river, and he filled two barrels. He went to and fro like 
lightning. We also slipped poor James Sinclair's body down the slide outside, as the 
corpse was quite offensive. 

" The two steamers now having exceeded the length of time we gave them in 
which to return from the Dalles, we made up our minds for a long siege and until re- 
lief came from below. We could not account for it, but supposed the ninth regiment 
had left the Dalles for Walla Walla, and had proceeded too far to return. The third 
morning dawned, and lo! the Mary and the Wasco, blue with soldiers, and towing a 
flat-boat with dragoon horses, hove in sight : such a hallo as we gave. 

" As the steamer landed the Indians fired twenty or thirty shots into them, but 
we could not ascertain with any effect. The soldiers as they got ashore could not be 
restrained, and plunged into the woods in every direction, while the howitzers sent 
grape after the retreating redskins. The soldiers were soon at our store, and we, I 
think I may say, experienced quite a feeling of relief on opening our doors. 

" During this time we had not heard from below. A company of dragoons under 
Colonel Steptoe went on down. Dan went with them. The block house at the Mid- 
dle Cascades still held out. Allen's house was burned and every other one below. 
George W. Johnson's, S. M. Hamilton's, F. A. Chenowith's, the wharf boat at Lower 
Cascades — all gone up. Next in order comes the attack oh the Mary. She lay in 
Mill creek, no fires, and wind hard ashore. Jim Thompson, John Woodard, and 
Jim Hermans were just going up to the boat from our store, and had nearly reached 
her as they were fired upon. Hermans asked if they had any guns. No. He went 

on up to Iman's house, the rest staying to help get the steamer out. Capt. Dan 


Baughman and Thompson were ashore on the upper side of the creek hauling on lines, 
when the firing from the Indians became so hot that they ran for the woods, past 
Iman's house. The fireman, James Lindsey, was shot through the shoulder. Engineer 
Buckminster shot an Indian with his revolver on the gang-plank, and little Johnny 
Chance when climbing up on the hurricane deck, with an old dragoon pistol, killed 
his Indian ; but he was shot through the leg in doing so. Dick Turpin, half crazy, 
probably, taking the only gun on the steamboat, jumped into a flat-boat lying along- 
side, was shot, and jumped overboard and was drowned. Fires were soon started 
under the boiler and steam was raising. About this time, Jesse Kempton, shot while 
driving an ox team from the saw-mill, got on board ; also a half-breed named 
" Bourbon," who was shot through the body. After sufficient steam to move was 
raised, Hardin Chenowith ran up into the pilot-house, and, lying on the floor, turned 
the wheel as he was directed from the lower deck. It is almost needless to say that 
the pilot house was a target for the Indians. After the steamer was fairly backed out 
and turned around, he did toot that whistle at them good. Toot ! toot ! toot ! it was 
music in our ears. The steamer picked up Herman on the bank above. Iman's 
family, Sheppard, and Vanderpool all got across the river in skiffs, and boarding the 
Jlary, went to the Dalles. 

" Col. George Wright and the ninth regiment, second dragoons, and third artil- 
lery, had started for Walla Walla, and were out five miles, camped. They received 
news of the attack at 11 p. m., and by daylight were back at the Dalles. Starting 
down, they only reached Wind mountain that night, as the Mary's boiler was in bad 
order, because of a new fireman the day before. They reached us the next morning at 

6 A. M. 

" Now for below. George Johnson was about to get a boat's crew of Indians, 
when Indian Jack came running to him, saying the Yakimas had attacked the block 
house. He did not believe it although he heard the cannon. He went up to the 
Indian village on the sand-bar to get his crew ; saw some of the Cascade Indians, who 
said they thought the Yakimas had come, and George now hearing the muskets, ran 
for home. E. W. Baughman was with him. Bill Murphy had left the block house 
early for the Indian camp, and had nearly returned before he saw the Indians or was 
shot at. He returned, two others with him, and run for George Johnson's, about 
thirty Indians in chase. After reaching Johnson's, Murphy continued on and gave 
Hamilton and all below warning, and the families embarked in small boats for Van- 
couver. The men would have barricaded in the wharf boat but for want of ammuni- 
tion. There was considerable government freight in the wharf boat. They stayed 
about the wharf boat and schooner, nearly all day, and until the Indians commenced 
firing upon them from, the zinc house on the bank. They then shoved out. Tommy 
Price was shot through the leg in getting the boats into the stream. Floating down 
they met the steamer Belle with Phil Sheridan and forty men, sent up on report of 
an express carried down by Indian Sinrpson in the morning. George and those with 
him went on board the steamer and volunteered to serve under Sheridan, who landed 
at George's place and found everything burned. The steamer returned, and the 
Indians pitched into Sheridan, fought him all day, and drove him with 40 men and 


10 volunteers to below Hamilton's, notwithstanding he had a small cannon — one 
soldier killed. 

" The steamer Belle returned the next day (third of the attack) and brought am- 
munition for the block house. Your partner Bishop, who was in Portland, came up 
on her. Steamer Fashion, with volunteers from Portland, came at the same time. The 
volunteers remained at the lower Cascades. Sheridan took his command, and with a 
batteaux loaded with ammunition, crossed to Bradford's island on the Oregon side, 
where' they found most of the Cascade Indians, they having been advised by George 
Johnson to go on there the first day of the attack.. They were crossing and recrossing 
all the time, and Sheridan made them prisoners. He pressed a boat's crew, and as 
they towed up to the head of the island and above, saw great numbers of Indians on 
the Washington Territory side and opposite them. Sheridan expected them to cross 
and fight him, and between them and the friendly (?) Indians in his charge, thought 
he had his hands full. 

" Just then Sheridan discovered Steptoe and his dragoon infantry and volunteers 
coming down from the Mary, surprising completely the Indians, Avho were cooking- 
beef and watching Sheridan across the river. But on the sound of the bugle the 
Indians fled like deer to the woods with the loss of only one killed — " old Joanam." 
But for the bugle they ought to have captured fifty. 

"The ninth regiment are building a block house on the hill above us, also at 
George Johnson's and will hereafter keep a strong force here. Lieutenant Bissell and 
12 men who were stationed at the upper Cascades, were ordered away, and left for the 
Dalles two days before the attack was made upon us. 

ci The Indians Sheridan took on the island were closely guarded. Old Cheonowith 
(chief) was brought up before Colonel Wright, tried, and sentenced to be hung. The 
Cascade Indians being under treaty, were adjudged guilty of treason in fighting. 
Chenowith died game ; was hung on the upper side of Mill creek. I acted as inter- 
preter. He offered ten horses, two squaws, and a little something to every " tyee," for 
his life ; said he was afraid of the grave in the ground, and begged to be put into an 
Indian dead house. He gave a terrific war whoop while the rope was being put around 
his neck. I thought he expected the Indians to come and rescue him. The rope did 
not work well, and while hanging he muttered, ' Wake niha faoass kopa memaloose ! ' 
(I'm not afraid to die) . He was then shot. I was glad to see the old devil killed, be- 
ing satisfied that he was at the bottom of all trouble. But I cannot detail at too 
great length. 

" The next day Tecomeoc and Cap. Jo were hung. Cap. Jo said all the Cascade 
Indians were in the fight. The next day Tsy, Sim Lasselas, and Four-fingered Johnny 
were hung. The next day Chenowith Jim, Tumalth, and Old Skein were hung, and 
Kanewake sentenced but reprieved on the scaffold. Nine in all were executed. Ban- 
aha is a prisoner at Vancouver and decorated with ball and chain. The rest of the 
Cascade Indians are on your island, and will be shot if seen off of it. Such are Col- 
onel Wright's orders. Dow, Watiquin, Peter, 3fahooka John, Kotyue, and maybe more 
of them, have gone with the Yakimas. 

" I forgot to mention that your house at the lower Cascades, also Bishop's was 
burned ; also to account for Capt. Dan Baughman and Jim Thompson. They put 


back into the mountains, and at night came down to the river at Vanderpool's place, 
fished up an old boat and crossed to the Oregon side. They concealed themselves in 
the rocks on the river bank opposite, where they could watch us ; and at night went 
back into the mountains to sleep. They came in safely after the troops arrived. 

" We do not know how many Indians there Avere. They attacked the block house, 
our place, and drove Sheridan all at the same time. We think there was not less than 
200 or 300. When the attack was made on us three of our carpenters ran for the 
middle block house, overtook the cars at the salmon house, cut the mules loose, and, 
with the car drivers all kept on. They were not fired on until they got to the spring- 
on the railroad, but from there they ran the gauntlet of bullets and arrows to the fort. 
Little Jake was killed in the run. Several were wounded. 

" I append a list of killed and wounded. But this is a long letter ; but knowing 
you would be anxious to hear all the particulars, I have endeavored to give you a true 
description. Dan is writing to others at home, and has read this letter. We have got 
to work again building and transporting ; are going to build a saw-mill as soon as we 
can. We had but few poor specimens of men here during the fight, generally all be- 
having well. There was, however, one notable exception — a person who arrived at the 
store but a few minutes before the fight commenced, and whose name I will give you 
in person. Am a little afraid to go to Rock creek to fish, in fact have had no time so 
far. Don't think I shall have much fishing this summer. Wish you were back." 


George Griswold, shot in leg. 

B. W. Brown and wife, killed at the saw-mill ; bodies found stripped naked in 
Mill creek. 

Jimmy Watkins, driving team at mill. 

Henry Hagar, shot in Watkins' house ; body burned. 

Jake Kyle, German boy. 

Jacob White, sawyer at mill. 

Bourbon ; half-breed ; died on the Mary going to the Dalles. 

James Sinclair, of the Hudson's Bay Company, Walla Walla. 

Dick Turpin, colored cook on the steamer Mary. 

Norman Palmer, driving team at mill. 

Calderwood, working at mill. 

Three United States soldiers, names unknown. 

George Watkins; lived four days. 

Jacob Roush, carpenter; lived six days. 


Fletcher Murphy, arm. P. Snooks, boy, leg. 

J. Lindsey, shoulder. Jesse Kempton, shoulder 

Tommy Price, thigh. H. Kyle, German. 

Moffat, railroad, hand. Johnny Chance, leg. 

M. Bailey, leg and arm. J. Algin, slightly. 
Two soldiers, United States army. 




The campaign to Walla Walla was abandoned temporarily because of the Cas- 
cade disaster, and Colonel Wright moved early in May north from the Dalles into the 
Yakima country. In regard to the results of his expedition and the plan for farther 
operations, we quote from a letter, dated May 23, 1856, by Governor Stevens: 

•' It is not to be disguised that the tribes east of the mountains thus far consider themselves 
the victors. "When Colonel "Wright commenced his march into the Yakima country early this month 
they practically held the whole country for which they had been fighting. Not a white man now is 
to be found from the Dalles to the WallaWalla; not a house stands, and Colonel Wright, at the last ad- 
vices, was in the Nachess in presence of twelve to fifteen hundred warriors determined to fight. All 
the confederated bands are there. 

" Colonel "Wright met the hostiles on the eighth of May; made an ineffectual attempt to treat 
with them till the fourteenth. On the evening of the eleventh, he dispatched an express to the 
Dalles for reinforcements, and on the thirteenth and fourteenth three companies went to his assis- 
tance, and probably reached him on the sixteenth or seventeenth instant. His force then would 
number some 250 effective men. ******** 

" Two hundred horsemen on the Nachess, well supplied, mounted and under a vigorous 
officer, at this juncture, will, with the operation of the regular troops, drive him (the enemy) across 
the Columbia. This force I am now organizing at Camp Montgomery, and it will be ready iu ten 
days. In this view the Walla Walla country must be held; .communication be established with the 
Nez Perce auxiliaries, and the enemy restricted to the country north of the Snake, and on the 
immediate banks of the Columbia, north of the Snake. I am organizing a force of two hundred 
men to occupy the Walla Walla. One hundred men are already at the Dalles. They will move 
with one hundred days' provisions, and some to spare for the Nez Perce auxiliaries, and the troops 
which may be concentrated there from the Yakima country. 

" The Yakima and Walla "Walla country firmly held, the passes well watched over the Cas- 
cades, the main force of the enemy on the Snake and Upper Columbia, we may then be able to 
disband the bulk of the remaining volunteers on the Sound. This most favorable view of the pro- 
gress of the war, which cannot be developed in a shorter period than four to six weeks, will prac- 
tically keep in service all the volunteers for their six months' term of service, and may render it 
necessary to extend the term on the part of those occupying the Walla "Walla. * * 

Thus, to transfer the war from the settlements on the Sound and the Columbia river to the interior, 
to strike such blows as opportunities may offer, and to be in readiness to prepare for a vigorous 
winter campaign, I shall, in ten days, be ready to move over the Nachess with two hundred horse- 
men and one hundred and fifty pack animals, and to the Walla "Walla with two hundred horsemen 
and one hundred days' provisions." 

June 8, 1856, Governor Stevens writes : 

" The two expeditions referred to, one over the Cascades into the Yakima country, the other 
from the Dalles to the "Walla "Walla, are nearly ready for the'movements. Both expeditions I deem 
of vital consequence, in view of the present condition of things in the interior. All the informa- 


tion which I have received, goes to satisfy me, that unless the most vigorous action is at once taken, 
all the tribes from the Cascades to the Bitter Root will be in the war, a portion of the Nez Perces 
alone excepted. 

" The long delay of Col. Wright on the Nachess, and his entertaining propositions of peace 
before striking the enemy, in connection with the withdrawal of the Oregon volunteers, has em- 
boldened the Indians, and has probably enabled them to effect a general combination of the tribes. 
But no overt act has yet been committed. * * * I shall to-morrow push to the Dalles, 

and urge the Walla Walla expedition forward with all possible dispatch. I trust it will be in 
season. The troops all reached the Dalles on yesterday, but it was supposed that a portion of the 
animals which were taken on the emigrant trail from the Willamette to the Dalles, will be a day or 
two behind. If the troops reach the Walla Walla before an overt act has been committed, I am 
certain that the combination can be broken up, and that the Nez Perces and the Indians on and in 
the neighborhood of the Spokanes will remain friendly." 

July 7, 1856, the Governor, by letter, details to the Secretary of War additional 
events as follows: 

" The force from the Sound, under the immediate command of Lieut. Col. B. P. Shaw, moved 
from Camp Montgomery on Wednesday and Thursday, June 11 and 12, and crossing the mountains 
with the loss of only one animal, camped on the Wenass on the twentieth. At that point Lieuten- 
ant Colonel Shaw received orders from me to push to the Walla Walla, unite his force with that 
moving from the Dalles, and take command of the whole. 

" The force from the Dalles moved from the camp five miles beyond the De Chutes river, on 
Wednesday, June 25, and was expected to reach the Walla Walla on the fourth of July. Each 
column numbered nearly 200 men. The whole force consists of 350 enlisted men, and about 100 
quartermaster and Indian employes. 

" From the Walla Walla, Indian supplies will be pushed to the Nez Perces and Spokanes, and 
an escort will accompany them, should the simple presence of a force in the Walla Walla valley be 
not sufficient to insure the safety of the train, protected, as it is expected it will be, by Indian aux- 
iliaries. Letters have been received from Lieut. Col. Wm. Craig, agent of the Nez Perces, of the 
twenty-ninth of May and eighth of June, speaking more favorably of the condition of things in 
the interior. Kamaiakun, at a council held with the Spokanes on the twenty-fifth of May, wherein 
he urged that tribe to join the war, received a negative to his proposition. The Spokanes, how- 
ever, harbor the hostile Cayuses, which has caused me to be somewhat apprehensive of the sincerity 
of their professions. 

" I was at the Dalles from Saturday, June 14, to Monday, June 30, getting the expedition off 
and collecting information in relation to the Indians. At that time the hostile bands were much 
scattered. Some three hundred hostiles were at the. head of John Day's river; a large camp of 
hostiles, supposed to be Walla Wallas under the son of Peu-peu-mox-mox,wexe at Port WallaWalla. 
The Cayuses were on the Spokane. The Clickitats and Takimas were on the Pischouse river, and 
probably small parties at Priest's Rapids. The large camp reported by Lieutenant Colonel Craig, 
in his letter of May 27, and composed of individuals of several tribes, including the Snakes, I have 
no information that they have moved from the place where they were when Colonel Craig wrote . 

" There were Snakes with the party at the head of John Day's river, and the force was increas- 
ing. It is proposed to strike the party at the head of John Day's river, by a force of about 175 
men, consisting of 100 volunteers of Oregon, under Major Layton, and 75 volunteers of Wash- 
ington, under Captain Goff. The plan was to move from Well Springs on the thirtieth of June, 
which point is on the emigrant road, some eighty-five miles from the Dalles." 


This regiment, as indicated by the Governor, moved for concentration at Wallula, 
where the ancient Hudson's Bay fort, called Walla Walla, stood. Its field officers were: 
Col. B. F. Shaw, commanding regiment. 
Lieut. Col. William Craig, commanding Nez Perces. 


Maj. George Blankenship. 

Maj. H. G. Maxon. 

Surgeon, M. P. Burns. 

Adj't W. W. De Lacy. 

Q. M. and Commissary C. H. Armstrong. 

There were six companies of this command in all, moving to concentrate at the 

point indicated, consisting of H. J. G. Maxon's company, from Clarke county ; 

Achilles' company from Lewis river ; B. S. Henness' from Thurston county ; Bluford 
Miller and M. P. Goff 's companies, recruited in Oregon for Washington Territory ; and 
the Nez Perces, under Spotted Eagle, recruited by Lieutenant Colonel Craig at 

By the eighth of July this force, except a portion of Captain Goff 's company, 
had all reached, and were camped on the place now owned by A. Thomas, on Mill 
creek, a couple of miles up that stream from what now is the city of Walla Walla; 
and they numbered, including 60 Nez Perces, 350 men. Immediately Indian supplies 
were forwarded with a light guard under charge of Special Agent A. H. Robie, to the 
Nez Perces, who were still supposed to be friendly. After the agent's departure, Col- 
onel Shaw learned that some hostiles had concentrated in the Grand Ronde valley, 
and he determined to immediately strike them at that point. On the evening of July 
14, he marched from the Mill creek camp with 160 men and ten days' rations, into the 
Blue mountains by an unfrequented trail, having Captain John, a Nez Perce chief, 
for guide. The account of what followed is taken from the official report by Colonel 
Shaw of the 


"We arrived in the Grand Ronde valley on the evening of the sixteenth, and camped on a 
branch of the Grand Ronde river in the timber, sending spies in advance, who returned and re- 
ported no fresh sign. On the morning of the seventeenth, leaving Major Blankenship of the Cen- 
tral, and Captain Miller of the Southern battalions, assisted by Captain De Lacy, to take up the 
line of march for the main valley, I proceeded ahead to reconnoitre, accompanied by Major Maxon, 
Michael Marchmean, Captain John, and Dr. Burns. After proceeding about five miles we ascended 
a knoll in the valley, from which we discovered dust arising along the timber of the river. I im- 
mediately sent Major Maxon and Captain John forward to reconnoitre, and returned to hurry up 
the command, which was not far distant. The command was instantly formed in order; Captain 
Miller's company in advance, supported by Maxon, Henness, and Powell's companies; leaving 
the pack train in charge of the guard under Lieutenant Goodwin, with a detachment of Goffs 
company under Lieutenant Wait ; and Lieutenant William's company in reserve, with orders to 
follow on after the command. 

" The whole command moved on quietly in this order, until within half a mile of the Indian 
village, where we discovered that the pack train had moved to the left, down the Grand Ronde river. 
At this moment, a large body of warriors came forward, singing and whooping, and one of them, 
waving a white man's scalp on a pole. One of them signified a desire to speak, whereupon I sent 
Captain John to meet him and formed the command iii line of battle. When Captain John came up 
to the Indians, they cried out to one another to shoot him, when he retreated to the command, and 
I ordered the four companies to charge. 

" The design of the enemy evidently was to draw us into the brush along the river, where 
from our exposed position, they would have the advantage — they no doubt having placed an 
ambush there. To avoid this, I charged down the river towards the pack train. The warriors 
then split, part going across the river, and part down towards the pack train. These were soon 
overtaken and engaged. The charge was vigorous and so well sustained that they were broken, dis- 


persed and slain before us. After a short time, I sent Captain Miller to the left and Major Maxon 
to the right, the latter to cross the stream and cut them off from a point near which a large body 
of warriors had collected, apparently to fight, while I moved forward with the commands of Cap- 
tain Henness and Lieutenant Powell to attack them in front. The Major could not cross the river, 
and, on our moving forward, the enemy fled, after firing a few guns, part taking to the left, and 
part continuing forward. 

" Those who took to the left fell in with Captain Miller's company, who killed five on the 
spot, and the rest were not less successful in the pursuit, which was continued to the crossing of 
the river, where the enemy had taken a stand to defend the ford. Being here rejoined by Captain 
Miller and by Lieutenant Curtis wdth part of Maxon's company, we fired a volley, and I ordered a 
charge across the river, which was gallantly executed. In doing this, Private Shirley Ensign of 
Henness' company, who was in the front, was wounded in the face. Several of the enemy were 
killed at this point. We continued the pursuit until the enemy had reached the rocky canons lead- 
ing towards Powder river and commenced scattering in every direction, when, finding that I had 
but five men with me, and the rest of the command scattered in the rear, most of the horses 
being completely exhausted — I called a halt, and fell back, calculating to re-mount the men on the 
captured horses and continue the pursuit after night. 

" I found the pack train, guard and reserve, encamped on a small creek not far from the cross- 
ing, as I had previously ordered them to do, and learned that a body of the enemy had foil owed 
them up all day, and annoyed them, but had inflicted no damage beyond capturing many of the 
animals which we had taken in charge, and left behind. 

" I learned, also, that Major Maxon had crossed the river with a small party, and was engaged 
with the enemy, and wanted assistance. I immediately dispatched a detachment under Lieutenants 
Williams and Wait, sending the man who bi'ought the information back with them as a guide. They 
returned after dark, without finding the Major, but brought in one of his men whom they found 
in the brush, and who stated that one of the Major's men was killed, and that the last he saw of 
them they were fighting with the Indians. At daylight I sent out Captain Miller with 70 men, who 
scouted around the whole valley without finding him, but who, unfortunately, had one man killed 
and another wounded whilst pursuing some Indians. I resolved to move camp the next day to the 
head of the valley, where the emigrant trail crosses it, and continue the search until we became 
certain of their fate. The same evening I took 60 men under Captain Henness, and struck upon 
the mountain and crossed the heads of the canons to see if I could not strike his trail. Finding no 
sign I returned to the place where the Major had last been seen, and there made search in different 
directions, and finally found the body of one of his men (Tooley) and where the Major had en- 
camped in the brush. From other signs it became evident to me that the Major had returned to 
this post by the same trail by which we first entered the valley. 

" Being nearly out of provisions, and unable to follow the Indians from this delay, I concluded 
to return to camp, recruit for another expedition in conjunction with Captain Groff, who had, I pre- 
sumed, returned from his"expedition to John Day's river. 

" I should have mentioned previously, that in the charge the command captured and after- 
wards destroyed about 150 horse-loads lacamas, dried beef, tents, some flour, coffee, sugar, and 
about 100 pounds of ammunition and a great quantity of tools and kitchen furniture. We took 
also about two hundred horses, most of which were shot, there being but about ^100 serviceable 

" There were present on the ground from what I saw, and from information received from two 
squaws taken prisoners, about 300 warriors of the Cayuse, Walla Walla, Umatilla, Tyh, John Day 
and De Chutes tribes, commandedby the following chiefs: Stock Whitley and Sim-mis-tas-tas, De 
Chutes and Tyh; Chick-iah, Plyon, Wic-e-cai, Wat-ah-stuarti/i, Win-imi-swoot, Cayuses; Tah-kin, 
Cayuse, the son of Peu-peu-mox-mox, Walla Walla, and other chiefs of less note. 

" The whole command, officers and men, behaved well. The enemy was run on the gallop 15 
miles, and most of those who fell were shot with the revolver. It is impossible to state how many 
of the enemy were killed. Twenty-seven bodies were counted by one individual, and many others we 
know to have fallen and been left, but were so scattered about that it was impossible to get count 
of them. When to these we add those killed by Major Maxon's command on the other side of the 


river, we may safely conclude that at least forty of the enemy were slain, and many went off 
wounded. When we left the valley there was not an Indian in it; and all the signs went to show 
that they had gone a great distance from it. 

" On the twenty-first instant we left the valley by the emigrant road, and commenced our re- 
turn to camp. Daring the night Lieutenant Hunter, of the Washington Territory volunteers, 
came into camp with an express from Captain Goff. I learned, to my surprise, that the Captain 
and Major Layton had seen Indians on John Day's river; had followed them over to the bead of 
Burnt river, and had had a fight with them, in which Lieutenant Eustus and one private were 
killed, and some seven Indians. They were shaping their course for the Grand Eonde valley, and 
had sent for provisions and fresh horses. I immediately sent Lieutenant Williams back with all 
my spare provisions and horses, and continued my march. On Wild Horse creek I came across 
Mr. Fites, a pack master, who had been left in camp, who informed me, to my extreme satisfaction, 
that Major Maxon and his command had arrived safe in camp, and were then near us with provisions 
and ammunition. The^e I sent on immediately to Captain Goff. 

" I learned that Major Maxon had been attacked in the valley by a large force of Indians on 
the day of the fight; had gained the brush and killed many of them; that at night he tried to find 
our camp, and hearing a noise like a child crying, probably one of the captured squaws, had con- 
cluded that my command had gone on to Powder river, and that the Indians had returned to the 
valley by another canon. He moved his position that night, and the next day saw the scout look- 
ing for him, but in the distance thought that it was a band of Indians hunting his trail. Conceiv- 
ing himself cut off from the command, he thought it best to return to this camp, thinking that we 
would be on our way back to Grand Eonde with provisions and ammunition." 


The force under Capt. F. M. P. Goff, 75 men, and Major Layton, 100 men' 
reached the vicinity of Burnt river on the twelfth of July. Owing to severe illness 
of Captain Goff, he was forced to remain in camp until the fifteenth, with a portion of 
his command, while the balance of his force, under Major Layton, was scouting in 
search of the enemy. Layton's scouts reached the head of Burnt river on the 
fifteenth and camped, when Lieut. John Eustus, with two men, proposed ascending a 
neighboring bluff to get a view of the surrounding country. They were advised not 
to attempt it, but determined to do so, and, as they apjn-oached the summit, were fired 
upon by ambushed hostiles, the Lieutenant and Daniel Smith of company K being- 
killed. The third man made a miraculous escape, and was met in his wild flight by 
comrades coming to his assistance, before he reached the .camp that lay in plain view 
below. Lieutenant Hunter at the head of his command, charged the hill, drove the 
Indians off from it, recovered the bodies of the dead soldiers, and then fell back to 
camp. The next morning found them surrounded by the enemy, and a skirmishing 
engagement followed through the day, which resulted in nothing decisive except the 
wounding of one soldier named Cheney, the wounding of one, and killing of three 
Indians. On the seventeenth, as Captain Goff approached the battle ground with his 
company, the hostiles disappeared, and, on the eighteenth, the line of march, in the 
direction of Grand Bonde, was resumed. 


Lieutenant John Eustus, Company N, killed ; residence Luckiamute, Oregon. 

Daniel Smith, Company K, killed ; residence French Prairie, Oregon. 

James Cheney, Company K, wounded in the thigh slightly ; residence Oregon. 

William F. Tooley, Company A, killed ; residence Cape Horn Mountain. 



William Irven, Company A, killed ; residence Vancouver, Washington Territory. 

William Holmes, Company K, k*_ ; residence Thurston county, Washington 

Thomas Como, Company A, dangerously wounded ; residence Vancouver, Wash- 
in o'ton Territorv. 

Shirley Ensign, Company C, wounded in the nose and cheek. 

William Downy, Company D, slightly wounded in the knee with an arrow. 

T. N. Lilley, Company I, forearm fractured and head cut by an Indian with an 
empty gun. 


When Colonel Shaw returned from the Grand Ronde battle field to his camp on 
Mill creek, he found special agent Robie there with his train, just in from among 
the Nez Perces at Lapwai, where he had been sent to distribute 100 mule packs of 
goods in accordance with the recent treaty. They had ordered him, with his govern- 
ment stores, out of their country, and would have nothing to do with either him or 
them ; and, fearing an attack, he had made a forced march of nearly 100 miles without 
halting, to reach the Mill creek camp and safety. At last, those long tried, unflinch- 
ing friends of the Americans, whose proud boast had been that no white man's blood 
had been shed by them, had yielded to the j)ressure from all sides and were ready to 
join the hostile phalanx. Does the reader appreciate what this meant? No overt act 
had been committed by them, but, if they had fraternized with the disaffected tribes 
there would have followed a universal uprising that would have swept the country east 
of the Cascades with a tidal wave of war. The country west of those mountains 
would have become a region of forts and promiscuous battle-fields, where the whites 
would have been forced to a bitter struggle for existence. Both Oregon and Washing- 
ton Territory, owe it to those who defeated the Indians in Grand Ronde valley and 
repulsed them on Burnt river, and to Governor Stevens through whose energy and 
farseeing judgment that force was placed in position to act at the critical moment, that 
such a result did not follow. 

Colonel Shaw, fully appreciating the grave position, immediately dispatched Cap- 
tain John, the friendly Nez Perce chief who had participated in the recent battle, 
with the following message to his people: " I am your friend. I have not come to 
fight you, but the hostiles. But, if you [beat your drums for war, I will parade my 
men for battle." This message, from the leader of a victorious little army on the bor- 
ders of their territory, once in the possession of the Nez Perces who had remained 
friendly, but had temporarily been silenced by the war element in their tribe, made 
them masters of the position — enabled them to regain the ascendency and return a 
friendly reply to Colonel Shaw. In this way, a great danger was averted; and, in a 
general way, everything was placed upon a favorable footing for a speedy solution of 
the existing troubles through a treaty of peace. 


The allied tribes had been defeated disastrously in Grand Ronde; the Nez Perces 
had been temporarily fortified against lending them assistance ; the Spokanes had, on 


the twenty-fifth of May, refused to join Kama-i-akun in the war; and it only remained 
for the regulars in the country of that chief to discourage him and his followers by a 
vigorous campaign, and nothing would be left for the hostiles to do but sue for peace. 
There was a failure, however, in the one thing wanted — the vigorous campain against 
the Yakimas west of the Columbia river by the regulars with Colonel Wright, who 
was acting under orders and carrying out the policy of General Wool. Having failed 
to meet Kama-i-akun either in battle or with propositions of peace, he withdrew his 
forces from the field to the Dalles, where the regulars remained inactive up to the 
fourteenth of August, when Governor Stevens wrote as follows : 

" On an interview held yesterday with Colonel Wright, at Vancouver, I learn that he designs 
sending forward a force of four companies to occupy the Walla Walla under the command of Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Steptoe. I shall accordingly raise no more troops, The terms of service of those 
under Colonel Shaw will expire on the eighth of September. On being relieved by the command 
under Colonel Steptoe, they will be withdrawn and mustered out of service. 

"All the troops on the Sound have been mustered out of service. 

" I push forward in person to Walla Walla to-morrow to meet the Indians, and establish rela- 
tions ui friendship with the tribes generally, and especially those struck by Lieutenant-Colonel 



Governor Stevens had sent forward before leaving the Dalles for Walla Walla, ap- 
pointing a clay on which to meet all the disaffected tribes in a general council in that 
valley, hoping in this way to end the war. On the twenty -second of October follow- 
ing, he addressed the Secretary of War an account of succeeding events, which we 
append as a concise, graphic exhibit of the results that grew out of a want of united 
council, and harmonious action between the regular and volunteer forces. The camp 
of Governor Stevens referred to in his letter, was on a branch of Mill creek near the 
present site of the flouring mill of Mr. Isaacs. 

" On reaching the Walla Walla valley, to which point trains with Indian and army supplies 
were on their way under Captain Robie, I made the necessary arrangements for sending home the 
volunteers to be mustered out of service on the arrival in the valley of the regular troops under 
Lieutenant Colonel Steptoe. On the twenty-ninth of July, one of my pack trains, mostly laden 
with Indian supplies, was captured by the Indians, a most unfortunate occurrence, as thereby much 
of the prestige of the Grand Ronde was lost. Lieutenant Colonel Steptoe 's force was encamped 
in the valley on the fifth of September, some five miles below the council ground. Captain Robie, 
with the remaining pack train and a large wagon train of Indian supplies, reached the valley on the 


seventh of September, and on the three following- days the Nez Perces and all the hostile bands, 
except the Yakima, reached the valley and encamped near me. 

" On the evening of the tenth, the Indians being all in except the Yakimas, and none friendly 
except a portion of the Nez Perces, and orders having been given to all the volunteers to go home 
the next day, I made a requisition upon Lieutenant Colonel Steptoe for two companies of his troops 
and his mountain howitzers, and to my surprise, learned from his answer that he had moved his 
camp to a point on Mill creek some seven or eight miles above my camp, and that his orders from 
General Wool did not allow him to comply with my requisition. 

" I say to my surprise, for in my interview with Colonel Wright at Vancouver, referred to in 
my report of the fourteenth of August, I understood, as I went to the interior in my capacitj' 
simply of Superintendent of Indian Affairs, that in effecting the objects of the council, I was to 
have the co-operation of the military force he was about to send there; a co-operation which the 
good of the service most urgently demanded. I had already raised nearly two hundred six months' 
men to strengthen the command of Lieutenant Colonel Shaw, under a proclamation issued imme- 
diately after the receipt of news of the battle of Grand Ronde, and I had four months' supplies to 
subsist them. This proclamation was revoked on my arrival at Vancouver , and the troops raised under 
it disbanded. In interviews held afterwards with Colonel Wright at the Dalles, I dwelt upon the 
objects to be gained by the council; referred to the effect of the presence of his troops there, and 
left with the belief that it was an arranged and agreed on thing between the Colonel and myself, that I 
was to have the countenance and support of the regular force in the Walla Walla to carry into effect the 
hriij'iicient designs of the council. Colonel Wright stated that other duties would prevent his ac 
companying me; that he had entire confidence in Lieutenant Colonel Steptoe, the officer in com- 
mand, and his presence would be unnecessary. Accordingly, previous to Lieutenant Colonel 
Steptoe'' s reaching the valley, I sent him two letters, each urging him to camp near me; my object 
being to show the Indians the strength of our people, and the unity of our councils; and I also wrote 
Capt. D. Russell, on his way from the Yakima with three companies, to the same effect. On the 
arrival of Lieutenant Colonel Steptoe in the valley, I urged him personally to camp near me. 

" The' requisition was refused, and I was therefore obliged to countermand the order sending 
home the volunteers whose terms of enlistment had all expired, and of ivhich only Goff's company, 
69 rank and file, remained, a portion of whom were on their way down, and had to be called back. 
This force only remained to guard my camp. 

" The council opened on the eleventh and continued on the twelfth and thirteenth, when so 
alarming was the condition of affairs, that I deemed it my duty, on the morning of the thirteenth, 
to address a confidential note to Steptoe, advising him that one half of the Nez Perces were unques- 
tionably hostile; that all the other tribes were hostile, with a very few exceptions, and that a company 
of his troops was essential to the security of my camp; and at his suggestion I moved my party, 
train and supplies, with Goff's company of volunteers, to the vicinity of his camp. I met Kamai- 
akun and his followers on my way there, and it is probably owing to no one being advised of my 
intention to move till the order was given an hour before I started, that I was not attacked on the 
road. Kamaiakun had unquestionably an understanding, as subsequent events showed, with all 
the Indians, except the friendly Nez Perces (about one-half the nation), and a small number of 
friendly Indians of the other tribes, to make an attack that day or evening upon my camp. He 
found me on the road to his great surprise, and had no time to perfect his arrangements. I had 
learned in the night that Kamaiakun had encamped on the Touchet the night before, and that he 
Avould be in this day. 

"The council re-opened on the sixteenth; all the Indians were, camped near, Kamaiakun and 
his band being only separated from the council ground by the narrow skirt of woods in the bottom 
of Mill creek; and was closed the next day, all my efforts, both to make an arrangement with the hos- 
tiles, and to do away with the disaffection of the Nez Perces having proved abortive. On the 
eighteenth, at a separate council with the Nez Perces, all, both hostile and friendly Nez Perces, 
advised the sub-agent, Wm. Craig, not -to return to the Nez Perce country as his life would be in 
danger, and they were afraid he would be killed. At the conclusion of this council, in a brief ad- 
dress to the Indians, I expressed my regrets that I had failed in my mission; that no one said 'yes' 
to my propositions, and now had only to say, ' follow your own hearts; those who wish to go into 

'■■ " - ' - 


gfasyJ M-^M -".' _____ 






"war, go.' My propositions were unconditional submission to the justice and mercy of the government, 
and the rendition for trial of murderers. 

" In the afternoon Lieutenant Colonel Steptoe informed these Indians that he came there to 
establish a post, not to fight them; trusted they should get along as friends, and appointed the next 
day, a little after noon, for a special conference. The Indians did not, however, come to see Step- 
toe at the time appointed. They previously set fire to his grass, and following me as I set out 
about eleven o'clock on my way to the Dalles, they attacked me -within three miles of Steptoe's 
carap at about one o'clock in the afternoon. 1 

" So satisfied was I that the Indians would carry into effect their avowed determination in the 
councils in their own camps for several nights previously to attack me, that, in starting T formed 
my whole party and. moved in order of battle. I moved on under fire one mile to water, when 
forming a corral of the wagons and holding the adjacent hills and the brush on the stream by 
pickets, I made my arrangements to defend my position and fight the Indians. Our position in a 
low open basin, 500 or 600 yards across, was good, and with the aid of our corral, we could defend 
ourselves against a vastly superior force of the enemy. . 

" The fight continued till late in the night. Two charges were made to disperse the Indians, 
the last led by Lieutenant Colonel Shaw in person with twenty-four men; but, w T hilst driving be- 
fore him some one hundred and fifty Indians, an equal number pushed into his rear, and he was 
compelled to cut his way through them towards camp, when, drawing up his men, and aided by the 
teamsters and pickets, who gallantly sprang forward, he drove the Indians back in full charge upon 
the corral. Just before the charge the friendly Nez Perces, fifty in number, who had been assigned 
to hold the ridge on the south side of the corral, were told by the enemy, they came not to fight 
the Nez Perces, but the whites. ' Go to your camp,' said they, ' or we will wipe it out !' Their 
camp, with the women and children, was on a stream about a mile distant; and I directed them to 
retire as I did not require their assistance, and was fearful that my men might not be able to dis- 
tinguish them from hostiles, and thus friendly Indians be killed. 

" Towards night I notified Lieutenant Colonel Steptoe that I was fighting the Indians; that I 
should move the next morning, and expressed the opinion that a company of his ti-oops would be 
of service. In his reply he stated that the Indians had burnt up his grass, and suggested that I 
should return to his camp, and place at his disposal my wagons, in order that he might move his; 
whole command and his supplies to the Umatilla or some other point, where sustenance could be 
found for his animals. To this arrangement I assented, and Lieutenant Colonel Steptoe sent to 
my camp Lieutenant Davidson, with detachments from the companies of dragoons and artillery 
with a mountain howitzer. They reached "my camp about two o'clock in the morning, everything 
in good order, and most of the men at the corral asleep. A picket bad been driven in an hour and 
a half before b\ the enemy: that on the hill south of the corral, but the enemy was immediately 
dislodged and ground pits being dug, all the points were held. The howitzer having been fired on 
the way out, it was believed nothing would be gained by waiting till morning, and the whole force 
immediately returned to Lieutenant Colonel Steptoe's camp. 

" Soon after sunrise, the enemy attacked the camp, but were soon dislodged by the howitzer 
and a charge by a detachment from Steptoe's command. On my arrival at the camp, I urged 
Lieutenant Colonel Steptoe to build a blockhouse immediately; to leave one company to defend it 
with all his supplies; then to march below and return with an additional force and additional sup- 
plies, and by a vigorous winter campaign to whip the Indians into submission. I placed at his dia~ 
posal for the building, my teams and Indian employes. The blockhouse and stockade were built in 
a little more than ten days. My Indian storeroom was re-built at one corner of the stockade. 

"On the twenty- third September, we started for the Dalles, which we reached on the second 
October. Nothing of interest occurred on the road. 

"In the action of the nineteenth, my whole force consisted of Goff's company of sixty-nine 
rank and file, the teamsters, herders and Indian employes, numbering about fifty men. Our train 
consisted of about 500 animals, not one of which was captured by the enemy. "We fought 450 
Indians, and had one man mortally, one dangerously, and two slightly wounded. We killed 
and wounded thirteen Indians. One-half the Nez Perces, one hundred and twenty warriors, all of 

1 He was attacked on what is now known as Charles Bussell's ranch, a view of which faces page 136. 


the Yakirnas and Palouse, two hundred warriors; the great bulk of the Cayuses and UmatilJas, 

— : warriors; of the Walla Wallas and Indians from other bands were in the 

fight. The principal war chiefs were the son of Ouhi, Isle de Pere and chief Qultomee; the latter of 
whom had two horses shot under him, and who showed me a letter from Colonel Wright, acknowl- 
edging his valuable services in bringing about the peace of the Yakirnas. 

" I have failed, therefore, in making the desired arrangements with the Indians in the Walla 
Walla, and the failure, to be attributed in part to the want of co-operation wvth me as Superintendent of 
Indian Affairs on the part of the regular troops, has its causes also in the whole plan of operations of 
the troops since Colonel Wright assumed command. 

" The Nez Perces, entirely friendly last December and January, became first disaffected in con- 
sequence of the then chief of the Cayuses Ume-hoivlish and the friendly Cayuses going into the 
Nez Perce country, contrary to my positive orders. I refused to allow them to go there in Decem- 
ber last, saying to them: ' I have ordered the Nez Perces to keep hostiles out of their country. If 
you go there your friends in the war party will come; they cannot be kept out. Through them dis- 
affection will spread among a portion of the Nez Perces. Ume-hoivlish, my prisoner, was sent into 
the Nez Perce country by Colonel Wright, and from the time of his arrival there, all the efforts 
made by Agent Craig, to prevent the spread of disaffection were abortive. What I apprehended 
and predicted had already come to pass. Looking Glass, the prominent man of the lower Nez 
Perces endeavored to betray me on the Spokane as I was coming in from the Blackfoot council, and 
I was satisfied from that time that he was only awaiting a favorable moment to join bands with 
Kama-i-akun in a war upon the whites, and Colonel Wright's management of affairs in the Yakima 
furnished the opportunity. 

" The war was commenced in the Yakima on our part in consequence of the attempt; first to 
seize the murderers of the Agent Bolon and the miners who had passed through their country; 
and, second, to punish the tribe for making common cause with them and driving Major Haller out 
of the country. It is greatly to be deplored that Colonel Wright had not first severely chastised 
the Indians, and insisted upon not only the rendition of the murderers, but upon the absolute and 
unconditional submission of the whole tribe to the justice and mercy of the Government. The long 
delays which occurred in the Yakima; the talking and not fighting; this attempt to pacify Indians 
and not reducing them to submission, thus giving safe conduct to murderers and assassins, and not 
seizing them for summary and exemplary punishment, gave to Kama-i-akun the whole field of the 
interior, and by threats, lies, and promises, he has brought into the combination one-half of the 
Nez Perces nation, and the least thing may cause the Spokanes, Coeur d'Alenes, Colvilles, and 
Okinagans to join them. 

" I stale boldly, that the cause of the Nez Perces becoming disaffected and finally going into war, is 
the operations of Colonel Wright east of the Cascades — operations so feeble, so procrastination, so entirely 
unequal to the emergency, that not only has a most severe blow been struck at the credit of the Government 
and the prosperity and character of this remote section of country, but the] impression has been made 
upon the Indians that the people and the soldiers were a different people . I repeat to you officially that 
when the Indians attacked me, they expected Colonel Steptoe would not assist me, and when they 
awoke from their delusion, Kama-i-akun said, ' I will now let these people know who Kama-i-akun 
is.' One of the good effects of the fight is, that the Indians have learned that we are one people, a fact 
which had not previously been made a -parent to them by the operations of the regular troops. 

" Is, sir, the army sent here to protect our people and to punish Indian tribes, who without 
cause, and in cold blood, and in spite of solemn treaties, murder our people, burn our houses, and 
wipe out entire settlements ? Is it the duty of General Wool and his officers to refuse to co-operate 
with me in my appropriate duties as Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and thus practically to as- 
sume those duties themselves ? Is it the duty of G eneral Wool, in his schemes of pacifying the 
Indians, to trample down the laws of Congress; to issue edicts prohibiting settlers returning to 
their claims, and thus for at least one county, the Walla Wall i, make himself dictator of the 
country ? " 


Colonel Steptoe had already informed the Indians that he came to the Walla 


Walla not to fight, but to build a fort and live in peace among them. He had, before 
leaving the Dalles, issued the following orders to the whites : 

Fort Dalles, O. T., August 20, 1S5G. 

" The undersigned, having been designated to establish a military post in the Wl11?„ "Valla 
country, and with a view to prevent all misunderstanding on the subject, believes it proper to make 
known the following instructions he has recently received from the Pacific Military Department : 

" No emigrant or other white person, except the Hudson' 1 s Bay Company, or persons having ceded 
rights from the Indians, will be permitted to settle or to re'main in the Indian country, or on land 
not settled or not confirmed by the Senate and approved by the President of the United States. 

" These orders are not, however, to apply to the miners engaged in collecting gold at Colville 


"(Signed) E. J. Steptoe, 

"Brevet Colonel, U. S. A." 
Early in November the regulars returned to Walla Walla, accompanied by Col- 
onel Wright, and camped on the north bank of Mill creek, where Main street in Walla 
Walla city now crosses that stream. A council with the hostiles was held, and Colonel 
Wright conceded that no white men should settle in their country, except by their per- 
mission ; that the treaties made with them by Governor Stevens, the previous June, 
should not be enforced ; that none of them should be punished for past offenses ; and 
thus the war was ended. 

Governor Stevens, under date of November 21, 1856, paid his parting respects to 
this surrender in the following words : 

" It would seem that, to get the consent of Colonel Wright to take the ground that a treaty 
should not be insisted upon, it was simply necessary for the malcontents to attack the Superinten- 
dent of Indian Affairs and his party. Now one-half of the Nez Perce nation, including the head 
chief, Lawyer, wish the treaty to be carried out. They have suffered much for their steadfast ad- 
herence to it. Are their wishes to be disregarded '? It seems to me that we have, in this territory, 
fallen upon evil times. I hope and trust some energetic action may be taken to stop this trifling 
with great public interests, and to make our flag respected by the Indians of the interior. They 
scorn our people and our flag. They feel they can kill and plunder with impunity. They denomi- 
nate us a nation of old women. They did not do this when the volunteers were in the field. 

" I now make the direct issue with Colenel Wright; that he has made a concession to the 
Indians which he had no authority to make; that, by so doing, he has done nothing but to get the 
semblance of a peace, 1 and that by his acts he has, in a measure, weakened the influence of the ser- 
vice having the authority to make treaties and having charge of the friendly Indians. He has, in 
my judgment, abandoned his own duty, which was to reduce the Indians to submission, and has 
trenched upon and usurped a portion of mine." 


It will be remembered, that Governor Stevens had called attention to the danger 
of hostile Indians coming in boats clown the Sound, to attack the settlements. Because 
of this danger a war vessel was sent to cruise in that locality, which intercepted a 
band of 127 hostile Indians at Port Gamble on the twenty-first of November, where 
they were attacked by commander S. Swartwout, and defeated with a loss of 27 
killed and 21 wounded. The account of this affair was given in detail by commander 
Swartwout officially to Governor Stevens, from which the following extract is taken : 

" Having received information from Lieutenant Colonel Casey on the evening of the eighteenth 
instant that a large party of Northern Indians were committing depredations up the Sound, in the 
vicinity of Steilacoom, I got under way on the morning of the nineteenth instant, and proceeded 

1 Demonstrated by Steptoe's defeat in May, 1858. 


to Steilacoom Reservation and Swan's Logging Camp in Henderson's Bay, where I found that the 
Indians alluded to had been recently committing depredations at both of those places, and at the 
reservations they had a fight with the Sound Indian.s, in which two of the Northern Indians were 
killed and one of their canoes captured. Ascertaining that the Northern Indians had left Hender- 
son's Bay the day before we arrived, on their way down the Sound, I proceeded with all despatch 
in pursuit of them, and was informed the same evening that they had been committing depreda- 
tions at Port Madison, but had left there, going down the Sound. I therefore passed Port Madison 
and proceeded to Port Gamble, where I arrived on the afternoon of the twentieth instant, and 
found the Northern Indians encamped in large force. 

" Soon after anchoiing, I despatched two boats containing eighteen armed men, including an 
interpreter, under the command of Lieutenant Young, with orders to have a friendly talk, and en- 
deavor to prevail upon them to leave the Sound peaceably, in tow of this vessel for Victoria, Van- 
couver's Island. I also directed him to say to them that I wished two or three of their chiefs to 
come on board and have a friendly talk with me, promising to forgive them for all the depredations 
they had committed, provided they would comply with my demands and not return to the Sound 
any more. 

" The Indians came down to the beach close to the boats in large force, armed, and ina menac- 
ing manner threatened to shoot any one who landed, treating my propositions with contempt and 
ridicule, shaking their fists at the officers and men in the boats, and daring them to come on shore 
and fight them. As Lieutenant Young had positive orders from me not to land, or come in colli- 
sion with the Indians, but to endeavor to prevail upon them to leave the Sound by observing for- 
bearance and conciliation, finding this course unavailing, he returned on board. I immediately 
fitted out a larger expedition, consisting of the launch with a howitzer, and two cutters, the whole 
force being composed of about 45 men, armed, with an interpreter from Port Gamble under the 
command of Lieutenant Young, with orders to communicate with these Indians again by sending 
the interpreter in advance with a flag of truce, and to make the same demands, observing a concili- 
atory course, and to return to the ship without landing or molesting them, in case they should still 
refuse to comply with the demands. I also directed the interpreter to say to them that I had a 
large force under my command which it would be impossible for them to resist, and to prevail upon 
them by every persuasion in his power to yield to my demands, and not compel me to resort to com- 
pulsory measures in order to remove them from the Sound, promising again to forgive them for all 
the depredations they had committed, provided they would leave the Sound peaceably. 

"They refused most positively to accede to nry propositions, saying they would go as s.oon as 
they got ready, but not with me, and if possible, treated Lieutenant Young in a more insult- 
ing and threatening manner than when he first landed there. He therefore returned on board, 
again failing to accomplish anything. Finding a temporizing course no longer available, and it 
being now dark, I determined in the morning to make preparations for an attack, for which purpose 
I removed the ship as close as possible to their encampment, about six hundred yards distant, and 
abreast of it, keeping her broadside to bear upon it by springs upon the cable, and at seven o'clock 
the next morning dispatched Lieutenant Semmes in the first cutter to the steamer Traveller, which 
vessel, with the launch under the command of Lieutenant Forrest, who, having field pieces on 
board, had been anchored the night before above the Indians' encampment, so that their guns had 
a raking fire upon it, with orders to communicate with the Indians again, through a flag of truce, 
and reiterate the demands which had been twice made upon them, and to point out to them our 
preparations, and the folly on their part to make any further resistance, but, if they still persisted in 
refusing to comply with my propositions I would be compelled, very reluctantly, to resort to force. 
After the interpreter had been communicating with them some twenty minutes, Lieutenant Semmes 
landed with a force of 29 sailors and marines; accompanied by Lieutenant Forest and Mr. Fendall, 
commander's clerk, in order to charge them should it become necessary. The disembarkation was 
successfully effected, although it was blowing very fresh at the time from the northward and west- 
ward. With a heavy swell on they were obliged to wade up to their waists in the water, and carry 
the boat howitzer in their arms. 

"After forming on the beach, Lieutenant Semmes advanced alone to where the interpreter was 
having a talk with several of the chiefs and delivered my message to them through the interpreter. 


They made some trivial objections about acceding to it, showing a great deal of defiance in 
their manner, and those who were unarmed, armed themselves immediately; commenced carrying their 
goods to the woods, dancing a war dance, and making every preparation for fight. I had directed 
Lieutenant Semmes to endeavor if possible to bring them to terms without having a rencounter, and 
it was the impression of everybody here that they would hold ©ut no longer when they saw the for- 
midable preparations we had made. It was not until after every argument had failed to convince 
them of the folly of any further resistance, and they had taken positions behind logs and trees 
with their guns pointed towards our party on the beach in a hostile manner, that the order was 
given to fire the field pieces from the Traveller, and it appears that this fire and that from the In- 
dians were simultaneous, many of our party thinking the Indians fired first. As soon as the firing 
commenced I gave orders to direct the battery of this ship towards the encampment of the Indians, 
and that part of the woods where they appeared to be concealed, and to fire upon them with round 
shot and grape, which appeared to do great execution. Under cover of our guns, the field pieces 
on board of the Traveller in command of Acting Master's Mate Cummings, and the boat howitzer 
on the beach in charge of Mr. Fendall, Lieutenants Semmes and Forrest, with a party of 29 sailors 
and marines, made a very gallant charge upon the Indians, driving them from their encampment 
into the woods and were ably supported by the howitzers. 

"All who were engaged in this charge behaved with the coolness of veterans. The encamp- 
ment was situated at the base of a high and very steep hill, upon which the trees and underbrush 
were so very thick, and there was so much fallen timber upon the ground as to render it almost 
impassable except for savages. After setting fire to their huts, destroying their property amount- 
ing to several thousands of dollars, and disabling all but one of their canoes, which were hauled 
near to their encampment, Lieutenant Semmes, agreeably to my orders, returned with all his party 
in the Traveller and boats alongside the ship, having held possession of the encampment from about 
twenty minutes past seven until ten a. m. 

" The Indians fought with desperate courage and determination worthy of a better cause. Dur- 
ing the whole day a fire was kept up from this vessel upon the Indians whenever they were seen in 
the woods, and with great execution. I regret to state that early in the engagement one of my 
best men was killed and another wounded in the left hand. These were the only casualties on our 
side, although several of the officers and men attached to the shore party were struck by slugs 
which glanced off from their pistols and bowie knifes with little or no injury to their persons. 
Lieutenant Young, I am sorry to say, was disabled the night previous to the fight from a fall in the 
launch. Lieutenant Fairfax, although on the sick list, being aware of the small number of officers 
on duty, very promptly offered his services, which I found invaluable from the able manner in 
which he conducted operations on board this ship, especially as I was absent part of the time in a 
boat supervising the detachments ashore and on board the Traveller. 

" The weather having moderated and the sea becoming smoother in the afternoon, I des- 
patched Lieutenant Semmes, third assistant engineer Bind, Mr. Fendall, and acting master's mate 
Moore, with a party of thirty-seven sailors and marines on shore to destroy the good canoe which 
they left in the morning and see that the others were rendered unseaworthy, in order to prevent the 
Indians from leaving here during the night. This duty was performed in a gallant manner, and I 
am happy to say, without the loss of a single man, although during the whole time they were sub- 
jected to a heavy fire from the enemy. 

"During both of these shore attacks a constant and very effective fire was kept up from the 
battery of this ship and the field pieces on board the Traveller. On the afternoon of the fight I 
sent a squaw who had been taken prisoner to the Indians, offering to forgive them if they would 
surrender, go with me to Victoria, and from thence proceed to their homes and never return again 
to the Sound. In reply they sent me a message of defiance, saying they would fight as long as 
there was a man of them alive. On the morning of the twenty-second instant, I received a mes- 
sage from them suing for peace, and shortly afterwards I was visited by two of the principal chiefs, 
who surrendered unconditionally and begged for mercy in a most humble and suppliant manner. 

" They informed me when the fight commenced they had one hundred and seventeen men, ex- 
clusive of the squaws and boys; that there had been twenty-seven killed; one chief wounded in the 
thigh and a number missing, whom they presumed were wounded in the woods. They said they 


were in a deplorable condition, having lost all their property, and that they had little or nothing to 
eat for the last forty-eight hours. I furnished them with provisions, and promised to let them off 
without further chastisement provided they would go in this ship to Victoria and never return again 
to the Sound. This they promised most faithfully to do. I shall receive them all on board to-day 
and proceed with them immediately to Victoria." 



When Governor Stevens and Colonel Steptoe left Walla Walla in September, 
1856, for Fort Dalles, the latter returned at once with additional supplies and men to 
hold the country, peaceably if |Dossible, forcibly if necessary. Reaching the valley, a 
place was selected for a camp on Mill creek within what new is Walla Walla city. 
The erection of barracks, on the north side of that stream where Main street now 
crosses it," was immediately undertaken and sufficiently completed to be occupied on 
Christmas, 1856 ; and thus was begun the history of this inland metropolis. In the 
following May, 1857, Company E of the ninth infantry, reached Walla Walla, and 
camped at a point where the military barracks are now located, southwest of the city. 
This company had brought with them a saw-mill ; and about one hundred teams were 
employed in hauling logs from the Blue mountains, to be converted into lumber for 
building purposes by that mill, erected near the site of the present barracks. A gar- 
den was planted and a field of barley cropped near that place in 1857 by the soldiers, 
under supervision of the quartermaster's department. Nothing worthy of special note 
transpired other than this in eastern Washington during that year. There remained, 
however, with the savages that feeling of hostility against the Americans which was 
liable to precipitate war at any time. Between them and the soldiers it was an armed 
neutrality, the Indians many of them openly advocating war. The following extract 
from a letter written April 15, 1857, by Father A. Hoeken at the Flathead mission to 
a brother priest, will give a glimpse behind the screen into the feelings among the 
tribes, which demonstrates the truthfulness of the assertion by Governor I. I. Stevens, 
that the cessation of hostilities obtained by Colonel Wright was but " a semblance of 

" Father Ravalli labored as much as he could to pacify the tribes which reside toward the west, 
namely: the Cayuses, the Yakimas, the Opelouses, etc. As our neophytes hitherto have taken no 
part in the war, the country is as safe for us as ever. We can go freely wheresoever 'we desire. No 
one is ignorant that the Blackgowns are not enemies — those, at least, who are among the Indians. 


Almost all the Coeur d'Alenes, in order to shield themselves from the hostilities of the Indians, 
and to avoid all relations with them, are gone bison-hunting. A few days since, Father Joset wrote 
me that Father Kavalli had already written to him several weeks before : ' I fear a general rising 
among the Indians toward the commencement of spring. Let us pray, and let us engage others to 
pray with us, in order to avert this calamity. I think that it would be well to add to the ordinary 
prayers of the mass, the collect for peace.' " 

steptoe's defeat. 

Such was the feeling among the tribes when Col. E. J. Steptoe started north from 
Walla Walla, on the eighth of May, 1858, with 159 men, intending to go to Fort Col- 
ville. Some of his stock had been recently stolen by Palouse Indians, and he pur- 
posed before returning to capture the ones who were guilty of the offense. 

It is not an agreeable task for the writer to censure any one, but those who write 
history must not suppress important facts to shield those whose acts, or neglect, have 
worked serious misfortunes. When that expedition started, one hundred mules were 
required to pack the camping outfit, and as the last one was loaded, it was found that 
no room remained for the ammunition. With knowledge of such fact — possibly not by 
Colonel Steptoe, but certainly by the party in charge of packing — the command moved 
off without it, to enter the country of unfriendly Indians, some of whom were to be seized 
and punished. A plenty of everything but ammunition, and of this only such quantity as 
each soldier chanced to have with him, is a condition of things which brands the officer in 
command as one incompetent for the position that he unfortunately held. No excuse 
upon his part is admissible, for he should have known whether his forces were in con- 
dition to fight. 

After Colonel Steptoe had gone from the fort, the ammunition, for which there 
was no room, was taken back into the magazine and stored, while the unfortunate com- 
mand moved on to meet disaster for want of it. Their line of march was through what 
now is Columbia and Garfield counties, until reaching Snake river at the mouth of 
Alpowa creek, where the home was of a chief named Timothy, who still lives there 
with what is left of his once formidable band of followers. He and his were always 
friendly to the Americans, and he decided on this occasion to go with three of his war- 
riors along with them. On the sixteenth of May, the command had passed north of 
Pine creek, and as they were approaching four lakes, probably Medical Lakes, the 
hostile demonstrations of the savages left it no longer a matter of doubt as to their in- 
tention. They told Colonel Steptoe that unless he went immediately back out of their 
country, they would attack him, and he said he would do so on the morrow, but must 
push forward to the lakes that night to get water. About three o'clock in the morning 
of Monday, May 17, the command broke camp at the lakes, and started on the return; 
but daylight found the enemy hovering upon their rear and flanks. A parley followed, 
in which a priest called Father Joseph was interpreter for a chief of the Coeur d'Alene 
Indians, with whom Steptoe was talking. This Indian, whose name is given as Soltees, 
said to this officer that no attack would be made upon his force, and then shouted some- 
thing to his followers, whereupon a friendly Nez Perce named Levi, struck him over the 
head with a whip, saying, "What for you tell Steptoe no fight and then say to your 
people wait awhile. You talk two tongues." About nine in the morning the retreat- 


ing force arrived at Pine creek near where the present town of Rosalia stands. Their 
approach to it from the north was down a wash, and, as they reached the stream, In- 
dians fired upon them from the timber on the south side and from various elevated 
points along the line. Lieutenant Gaston, without waiting for orders, charged with his 
men and cleared an opening in front to the high lands on the south, and was followed 
by the entire force. After reaching the elevated country, the howitzer was unlimbered 
and opened upon the savages. One or two charges were made ; Snickster and James 
Kelly of Company E were wounded, and a friendly Nez Perce Indian was killed by a 
soldier who mistook him for an enemy. Again the retreat was resumed and Sergeant 
Williams of troop E, being left to cover the extreme rear was badly wounded. Colonel 
Steptoe was in advance with H troop and the pack animals. C troop, under Lieuten- 
ant James Wheeler, was on the right, the left was guarded by the gallant Lieut. Wil- 
liam Gaston with troop E, while Capt. O. H. P. Taylor, "bravest of the brave," with 
his company covered the rear. 

Through the remainder of that forenoon, the retreat was continued in this order 
without a halt. Without cessation a skirmishing battle raged in the rear, where near- 
est the death line Captain Taylor was always to be found, and along the left, where 
chivalrous Gaston gave them blow for blow. The enemy charged and hurled itself, 
again and again, upon the commands of those two brave leaders, in a vain effort to 
penetrate the line of the retreating column ; but around those two officers, always 
nearest the foe, their men rallied sternly, a phalanx of steel that could not be broken. 
Wearied, exhausted, and with their ammunition all gone, they still maintained their 
moving position. At last Lieutenant Gaston — some of whose men had exhausted their 
ammunition, and all of whom were too hard pressed to admit of recharging theii* 
empty weapons — sent in a courier named Tickey Highland, asking Colonel Steptoe to 
halt the command and give his men an opportunity to reload their guns. His request 
was not granted ; and still the rolling ball of battle moved on towards the south, until 
Captain Taylor's men were many of them, also left without ammunition, having fired 
their last shot at the foe. Finally as the advance reached what is now called Cache 
creek, a courier dashed up to Colonel Steptoe with the report, that brave Gaston was 
slain, and a halt was then ordered. In the rear and left where they were being 
pressed by an overwhelming force, the contest had become a struggle, hand to hand ; 
gallant Gaston had gone down and a battle had been waged over his dead body for its 
possession, which the Indians had gained. Brave Taylor had fought his last battle, 
and a little band of heroes had rallied round him as he was dying, to share his fate or 
save him from the enemy. Among them were Barnes who was left wounded in the 
affray, Burch who received an arrow from a savage that was dying from five bullet 
wounds, and the heroic De May who raged among the foe like a wounded lion. He 
was a fine swordsmen, had been an officer in the French army, had served both in the 
Crimean and Algerian wars, but was a private only at this time. With his last shot 
gone and his only remaining weapon a musket thus rendered worthless, he seized it by 
the barrel to use as a war club and dealt Trojan blows among the assailants. He, too, 
was borne down at last by numbers, crying, " Oh, mine Got, mine Got, mine saber ! " 
With such a sacrifice the body of the dead captain was rescued and the Indians were 
driven sullenly back. So demoralized had the main body of troops become by this 


time, that when Lieutenant Gregg called for volunteers to follow him in a charge, to 
beat back the enemy and help relieve the hard pressed rear guard, only ten men an- 
swered to the call. When he led off in the charge with these, he chanced to look over 
his shoulder and found that not one of them, even, were following him ; and turning- 
back he rode silently among the frightened mob without a word of censure. What 
was the use ; the majority of that command had lost both their pride and their 
courage. A few miles more of such a retreat would have converted it into a disastrous 
stampede that would have left few, if any, survivors to tell the fate of the expedition. 

Steptoe went into camp at this place as he could do nothing else, threw out a 
strong picket line and buried such dead as had not been left on the way. At a council 
of war it was decided to bury their howitzers, and leave the balance of their stores and 
pack train for the Indians. It Avas hoped the abandoned property would cause the 
savages to spend time in examining and dividing it among them, which might give 
the soldiers an opportunity to get beyond pursuit, could they steal through their lines 
The Indians camped in plain sight in the bottom, left the soldiers comparatively un- 
molested, supposing that with the morrow they had but to make an onslaught and end 
the contest with a general massacre. The white camp was surrounded by Indian sen- 
tinels who were guarding every avenue of escape save one. This was a difficult pass 
and it was not supposed that soldiers knew of it, or could traverse the route if they 
did. This was the only hope left the command, and here is where the Nez Perce 
chief Timothy and his two living associates became the salvation of the entire com- 
mand. But for him, probably not one of that party would have escaped. The night 
was cheerless and dark, and when all had become comparatively still, the entire force, 
mounted and followed this chief in single file, as silently as possible, out through the 
unguarded pass. Lieutenant Gregg was in command of the rear guard. Sergeant 
Michael Kenny, now a policeman in Walla Walla city, had charge of six men in the 
extreme rear and was the last to leave camp. From him and from Thomas Beall of 
Idaho who was also there, we have learned the sad detail of what followed. 

The wounded of each company were taken charge of by some of their comrades 
detailed for that purpose, and several were so badly hurt as to be helpless, who were 
tied upon pack animals to be carried along with the retreating force. Among the 
latter was a soldier named McCrossen whose back was broken, and Sergeant Williams 
who was shot through the hip. The latter begged for poison of the doctor and to be 
left behind, preferring death to the terrible ride that lay before him. He tried to bor- 
row a pistol from Lieutenant Gregg with which to shoot himself, and failed. He was 
then placed upon, and lashed to a horse with his broken hip, when a comrade led the 
animal away on the trail. The torture of this rough motion driving him to frenzy, 
he soon threw himself from the moving rack and slipped down the animal's side. His 
comrades then loosened the thongs binding him to the horse, and riding away into the 
darkness left him there, calling upon them in the name of God to give him some- 
thing with which to take his life. Poor McCrossen, with his broken spine, was tied 
upon a pack-saddle that turned on the mule's back and he was precipitated, too be- 
tween the animal's legs, when a soldier named Frank Poisle cut the lashing, and he 
too, was left by the trail calling to his comrades, " Give me something for God's sake 
to kill myself with." 


Through that long dark night, they followed at a trot, or gallop march, the faithful 
chief upon whose judgment and fidelity their lives all depended. The wounded, ex- 
cept those who could take care of themselves, were soon left for the scalping-knife of 
the savage, and with seemingly but one impulse, the long shadow line of fugitives 
passed over the plains and hills toward Snake river and safety. Twenty-four hours 
later they had ridden seventy miles and reached that stream about four miles down it 
from where the Indian guide lived, at the mouth of Alpowa creek. Going up the river 
to near Timothy s village, that chief placed his own people out as guards, and set the 
women of his tribe to ferrying the exhausted soldiers and their effects across the stream. 
This was not completed until near night of the next day, and on the twentieth Step- 
toe's party met Captain Dent with supplies and reinforcements on the Pataha creek, 
where the road now leading from Dayton to Pomeroy crosses it. Here the worn-out 
fugitives went into camp for a time to rest, and while there were overtaken by chief 
Lawyer of the Nez Perces at the head of a formidable war party, who wished the sol- 
diers to go back with him and try it over again with the northern Indians. But they 
had no desire to follow the advice of this friendly chief, and continued their way to 
Walla Walla, 

While passing Tukannon on the return Sergeant Thomas Beall found Snickster, 
who had been wounded in the arm at Pine creek on the seventeenth, in a cabin a little 
below the present site of Marengo. He told a wonderful tale of how he and Sergeant 
Williams had made their way to the mouth of the Palouse, where in attempting to 
cross Snake'river Williams had been killed by Indians, and he had saved himself only 
by jumping from a boat into the stream which he swam. This version of that affair 
has beeome the accepted one, and Colonel Wright hanged a Palouse Indian later who 
was accused of killing Williams in this attempt at crossing. Sergeant Kenny, who 
knows that Williams was left by the trail helpless with his broken thigh, informed the 
writer that it would have been a matter of impossibility for him to have reached Snake 
river in his then condition, and further that a squaw found Williams where he lay and 
took him to her lodge where he died in a few days from the effect of the wound. This 
last fact he learned from the squaw and other Indians years afterwards. Farther, 
Sergeant Kenny said he doubted the ability of any man to swim across Snake river, 
during the high water late in May, with an arm that had been two days broken, "and 
so say we all of us." 

The number killed and wounded we have been unable to ascertain. Mr. John 
Singleton of Walla Walla, a participant, states that two officers and ten men were 
killed before the halt at Cache creek, and six men later. 


When the news of Steptoe's defeat reached General Clark, commanding the de- 
partment, he at once ordered the regular army force available on the Pacific coast, that 
could be spared from other localities, to rendezvous at Walla Walla. Col. George 
Wright was placed in command, and instruction was given to whip the Indians into a 
wholesome respect for the government, the army, and Ameicans generally. 

In August, 1858, Fort Taylor was erected as a base of operations on the south 


side of Snake river at the mouth of Tukannon, and on the twenty-seventh P of that 
month, the entire force under Colonel Wright had crossed that stream from Fort Tay- 
lor to enter upon a campaign against the northern Indians. The little army was made 
up of 90 infantry men, 400 artillery men, 1 90 dragoons, 30 Nez Perces, and about 200 
attaches for duty such as packers, herders, etc. September 1, a battle was fought at 
Medical (four) Lakes, in which the Indians were badly beaten. None of the soldiers 
were killed, but many of the Indians were, this result following because of the long 
range guns used by the former in this engagement for the first time against the savages. 
The infantry and artillery first drove the Indians from the hills and timber into the 
plain, where they attempted a stand, but gave way before the steady advance of the foot 
soldiers and their deadly discharge of musketry. As the enemy broke on the plain 
the dragoons under Maj. Wm. N. Grier were let loose upon them, when officers and 
men vied with each other in the deadly charge that followed. Lieutenant Davidson 
shot one brave from his saddle, and Lieutenant Gregg clove the skull of another. The 
companies of Gaston and Taylor, the dead heroes, were there burning for revenge, and 
the Indians were swept from the plain as chaff before the wind. But seventeen of 
them were known to have been killed, as their dead, except in the last charge, were 
borne from the field. Blankets, robes, guns, and the paraphernalia of Indian warriors 
strewed the country for miles, where they had been cast in the wild flight from the 
avenging dragoons. 

September 5, the command again resumed its march northerly, and reached the 
Spokane river at night, about six miles below the great falls. The last fourteen miles 
of their route, had been one almost constant skirmish with the enemy, some of it 
severe, in which hand to hand encounters occurred several times. In one a chief was 
killed who possessed the pistol used by Lieutenant Gaston when slain. Lieut. Wm. 
D. Pender, whose revolver had become useless, dashed upon an Indian and hurled him 
from his horse upon the ground, where a dragoon dispatched him with a saber. This 
day's battles ended the fighting, the savages terror stricken began to scatter, and Col- 
onel Wright pushed on towards the Coeur d'Alene mission. On the way, chief 
Gearry came in to ask that peace might be granted the Spokanes, and Colonel Wright 
replied to him : 

" I have met you in two battles; you have been badly whipped; you have had several chiefs 
and many warriors killed or wounded; I have not lost a man or animal. I have a large force, and 
you, Spokanes, Couer d'Alenes, Pelouzes, and Pend d'Oreilles may unite, and I can defeat you as 
badly as before. I did not come into the country to ask you to make peace; I came here to fight. 
Now, when you are tired of war and ask for peace, I will tell you what you must do. You must 
come to me with your arms, with your women and children, and everything you have, and lay them 
at my feet. You must put your faith in me and trust to my mercy. If you do this, I shall then 
tell you the terms upon which I will give you peace. If you do not do this, war will be made on 
you this year and the next, and until your nations shall be exterminated. " 

On the eighth of September a large band of horses were captured from Tilkohitz, 
a chief of the Palouse tribe ; and the next day 986 of them, including colts, were shot 
by order of Colonel Wright. This was the finishing stroke. To the Indians, Colonel 
Wright and his soldiers were a devastating scourge, and a comet appearing in the 
heavens, at this time, lent its terrifying, nightly presence, to quench the last spark of 


resistant patriotism among them ; they were crushed indeed, when they saw the Great 
Spirit had sent his flaming sword to hang over them in the heavens. 

Reaching the mission Colonel Wright found the Indians so terror stricken that it 
was difficult to get them to come in. They wanted peace, but were afraid to come near the 
the soldiers who had handled them so roughly. With the assistance of the priests this 
was finally accomplished; and the interview that followed, we give as a sample of sev- 
eral others, held later with tribes that had been hostile. Said Vincent, chief of the 
Couer d'Alens : 

" I have committed a great crime. I am fully conscious of it, and am deeply sorry for it. I 
and all my people are rejoiced that you are willing to forgive us. I have done." 

Colonel Weight. "As your chief has said, you have committed a great crime. It has 
angered your Great Father, and I have been sent to punish you. You attacked Colonel Steptoe 
when he was passing peaceably through your country, and you have killed some of his men. But 
you asked for peace, and you shall have it, on certain conditions. 

"You see that you fight against us hopelessly. I have a great many soldiers. I have a great 
many men at Walla Walla, and have a large body coming from Salt Lake City. What can you do 
against us ? I can place my soldiers on your plains, by your fishing grounds, and in the mountains 
where you catch game, and your helpless families cannot run away. 

" You shall have peace on the following conditions : You must deliver to me, to take to the 
General, the men who struck the first blow in the affair with Colonel Steptoe. You must deliver to 
me to take to Walla Walla, one chief and four warriors with their families. You must deliver up 
to me all property taken in the affair with Colonel Steptoe. You must allow all troops and other 
white men to pass unmolested through your country. You must not allow any hostile Indians to 
come into your country, and not engage in any hostilities against any white man. I promise you, 
that if you will comply with all my requirements, none of your people shall be harmed, but I will 
withdraw from your country and you shall have peace forever. 

" I also require that the hatchet shall be buried between you and our friends, the Nez Perces.' 
The Nez Perces were called, and the part of the speech referring to them was re- 
peated to the Coeur d'Alenes in their presence. 

Vincent replied: " I desire to hear what the Nez Perces' heart is." 

Haitzemaliken, the chief of the Nez Perces, in response, said: " You behold me before you, 
and I will lay my heart open to you. I desire that there shall be peace between us. It shall be as 
the Colonel says. I will never wage war against any of the friends of the white man." 

Vincent: "It does my heart good and makes also my people glad to hear you speak so. I have 
desired peace between us. There shall never be war between our people, nor between us and the 
white men. The past is forgotten." 

After all demands had been complied with by this tribe, the return march was 
entered upon for Walla Walla. On the way councils were held and treaties 
formed with the various tribes; hostages were taken and twelve Indians hanged by 
order of Colonel George Wright, among whom was Qualchien who in 1855 had mur- 
dered A. J. Bolan the Indian Agent. Owhi, father of Qualchien, was second chief of 
the Yakimas and was a prisoner at the time, but, after the soldiers had crossed Snake 
river and had reached Fort Taylor, at the mouth of the Tukannon, he attempted to 
make his escape and was killed. 

October 5, the command reached Walla Walla, and on the second day thereafter 
the bones of such slain as had been gathered on the Steptoe battle field in this last ex- 
pedition, were buried at the fort. Colonel Wright then sent for the Walla Walla 
tribe to come in and when they had assembled, and were sitting on the ground to hear 
what he had to say, he requested those among them who had taken part in the recent 


or Steptoe battle to stand up, and thirty-five warriors promptly arose. Selecting four 
from among the number, he issued orders for their hanging, which was promptly car- 
ried out. Thus sixteen Indians in all were executed, and since that time, there has 
been no war-cry heard among those tribes against the Americans. 

During the expedition two soldiers had died from eating poisonous roots, one had 
been wounded, the Indians had been thoroughly humiliated, and there is doubt of this 
campaign, in its rapid blows effectively dealt which gave permanent beneficial results 
to the Americans, having its parallel in Indian warfare. 

The commander of it accompanied by his wife and members of his staff, was on 
board the steamer Brother Jonathan that went down off Crescent City, Oregon, on the 
thirtieth of July, 1865, when all were lost. He was a native of Vermont, a graduate 
of West Point in July, 1822, served in Mexico, and was made colonel March 3, 1855, 
for gallant conduct during that war. In 1855 he was given command of the Ninth 
Infantry, came with it to the Pacific Coast, and served with distinction in the Indian 
wars that followed in Washington Territory. In 1861 he was made general of volun- 
teers and placed in command of the Pacific Coast Department which he held until re- 
lieved by General McDowell. 



In the fall of 1858 the Walla Walla country was thrown open to settlement, 
though the Indian treaties made in 1855 by Governor Stevens were not ratified by 
Congress until the next spring, and the recent terror spread among the In .ians by 
Colonel Wright's operations rendered it safe for white people to locate in that region. 
There were consequently quite a number of ranchers and cattle men who settled along 
the streams skirting the west base of the Blue mountains, in the latter part of 1858, 
among whom were Thomas P. Page, James Foster, Charles Pussell, J. C. Smith, 
Christopher Maier, John Singleton, John A. Simms, and Joseph McEvoy, all of whom 
still reside there except Mr. Simms, who is Indian agent at the Colville agency. In 
1859 there was a marked increase in the immigration, and settlers took ranches along- 
all the streams as far northeast as the present site of Dayton on the Touchet. 

The Territorial Legislature of 1859, by an act dated January 19, 1859, appointed 


the following named officers of Walla Walla county, to hold their respective positions 
until their successors were elected and qualified : 

County Commissioners — John Mahan, Walter R. Davis, and John C. Smith. 

Sheriff — Edward D. Pearce. 

Auditor — R. H. Reighart. 

Probate Judge — Samuel D. Smith. 

Justice of the Peace — J. A. Simms. 

Proceeding under authority of a general law, the two first named commissioners 
met at Walla Walla on the fifteenth of the ensuing March. They appointed James 
Galbreath auditor, Lycurgus Jackson sheriff, and then adjourned ; but the minutes of 
this, and all succeeding meetings, were left for I. T. Reese to spread upon the records 
after he was elected recorder in the following July. At the second meeting of the 
Board, held March 26, E. H. Brown was appointed probate judge, Lycurgus Jackson 
was made assessor, Neil McGlinchey became county treasurer, and Wm. B. Kelly was 
selected as the first superintendent of public schools. On this same twenty-sixth of 
March, the commissioners arranged for a general election to be held in July, by divid- 
ing the county into two voting districts. One was called the Dry Creek precinct, where 
the polls were established at the residence of J. C. Smith, the judges named b ing 
E. Bonner, J. M. Craigie, and Wm. Fink. The clerk was W. W. Wiseman. The 
other was called Steptoeville precinct, a name that numerous parties were trying to 
fasten upon Walla Walla, and W. J. Terry's residence was first designated as the place 
for voting, which was changed to the church " at Steptoeville." J. A. Simons, Wm. B. 
Kelly, and Wm. McWhirk were appointed election judges ; Thomas Hughes as clerk, 
and the gentlemen named were the persons presiding over the second election in Walla 
Walla county, the first having occurred in 1855. 

June 6, the same Board met at Steptoeville, levied a tax of seven mills on the 
dollar, and rented a court-house, for which $20 per month was to be paid. July 2, 
they again met, accepted the resignation of James Galbreath, the county auditor, and 
appointed Augustus Vonhinkle to the vacancy. They also changed the name of Step- 
toeville to Wailetpa. No record can be found of this election in July, 1859, showing 
who were candidates, or the number of votes cast ; but it appears that the new Board 
of commissioners met September 5, 1859, and by balloting, determined their term of 
service to be : Charles Russell, one year ; John Mahan, two years ; and William Mc- 
Whirk, three years. At this meeting, they voted I. T. Reese $40 per month for rent 
of court-house, and approved bonds given by the following named persons, which show 
who, besides themselves, had been elected that year to county offices : 

Auditor — I. T. Reese. 

Sheriff — Lycurgus Jackson. 

Treasurer — Neil McGlinchey. 

Assessor — Thomas P. Page. 

Surveyor — H. H. Case. 

Justice — J. M. Canaday. 

November seventh of that year, the county commissioners gave the village of 
Walla Walla its name, designated it as the county seat, and gave to it a town govern- 
ment. The great fire of 1865 destroyed records of value for historic purposes, among 


which probably were the election returns prior to July 14, 1862, and the assessment 
rolls prior to this last-named year. 

May 7 the board established the rate of tax for 1860, at seven mills on the dollar, 
and divided the county into five voting districts, preparatory for the election of the 
coming July. The people in the country, in those days, lived along the creeks and 
rivers, and the reader acquainted with the localities will readily understand why the 
voting precincts were designated as follows : Walla Walla, Dry Creek, Snake River, 
East Touchet, and West Touchet, the last two being divided by Copei Creek. At this 
election the question of whether a tax for building a court house and jail should be 
levied, was submitted to the people, and though, as before stated, no returns are on file, 
a negative vote is indicated from the fact that neither were built at that time, prisoners 
being sent to Fort Vancouver for incarceration. From their official bonds ; it appears 
that the following named were the successful aspirants for office at the 


Auditor and Recorder — James Galbreath. 

Sheriff — James A. Buckley. 

Surveyor — M. J. Noyse. 

Assessor — C. Langley. 

Coroner — Almiron Dagget. 

Justice of Peace, Walla Walla — William J. Horton. 

Justice of Peace, Dry Creek — John Sheets. 

Justice of Peace, East Touchet — Horace Strong. 

Justice of Peace, West Touchet — Elisha Everetts. 

Justice of Peace, William B. Kelly. 

No foot print of transactions, coming under supervision of the board while this 
set of officers were acting, prior to October 12, 1861, remains, and we are forced to skip 
the intervening time, and commence again with the latter date. A county election had 
occurred in July, 1861, and W. H. Patton, S. Maxon and John Sheets appear at this 
time as the board of commissioners. November 5, Sheriff James Buckley, who was 
ex officio tax collecter, was appointed county assessor in place of S. Owens, who, having 
been elected in 1861, failed to qualify. On the eighth of the same month, a contract 
was given Charles Bussell to build a county jail at a cost of $3,350. He finished the 
work in 1862, was paid $6,700 in script for it, and in 1881, re-purchased the same building 
from the county for $120. and tearing it down, moved it out to his ranch. A picture 
accompanies this work of that old first jail, around which have centered incidents ri- 
valing the exploits of a Turpin. Criminals have gone forth from its walls to the peni- 
tentiary, to the scaffold, and as fugitives; but, in the early days, it held few dreads before 
the mental vision of the evil doer who was skilled in devices for escape. 


Up to 1861, there had been nothing of special moment, calculated for inducing 
emigration to settle in the vicinity of the Blue mountains. There was unoccupied land 
enough in various parts of the United States, to prevent its soil from being much of an 


inducement, and, at that time the agricultural portion of eastern Washington was sup- 
posed to exist in limited quantities. There was, practically, no market for farm pro- 
ducts, as they would not pay the expense of shipment, and outside of the garrison, its 
employes and dependents, there was no one to purchase them; still a few people had 
found their way into the country from Oregon, in 1859 and 1860, with stock, and had 
taken up ranches along the various streams. Very few came to locate with a view of 
establishing a home here, their purpose being to graze stock for a few years and then 
abandon the country, raising some grain in the meantime for their own use, and pos- 
sibly a little to sell, if anybody should wish to buy. Had the military post been aban- 
doned in 1860, but few whites would have remained east of the Cascades, and stock 
raising would have been the only inducement for any one to remain there. 

There was an event transpired in 1860, however, that put a new face upon every- 
thing in Eastern Oregon and Washington Territories, the parallel of which has been but 
twice known in the world's history. 


An Indian from the Nez Perce country found his way into California during the 
gold excitement in that State, and, chancing one day into a gulch where some miners 
were at work, made himself friendly and useful, and told them in his broken English 
where he was from and the name of his tribe. He was a rarity ; not like the miserable 
Digger Indians of California, without dignity, cleanliness, or intelligence, and he soon 
made friends. Among those miners was one named E. D. Pearce, who was a visionary 
and susceptible man, liable to be strongly impressed with a romantic tale that possessed 
points of plausibility. Among his strong characteristics was tenacity, and he was dis- 
posed to follow an idea, that might only be a delusion, with a persistence seldom 
equalled. To this man one day the Nez Perce Indian told a strange weird tale of how 
he, with two companions, had been camping at night in a defile among his native 
mountains, when suddenly a light like a brilliant star burst forth from among the cliffs. 
They thought it the Great Spirit's eye, and watched with superstitious awe until the 
dawn, when, taking courage with the wakening day, they sought the spot from where 
the night twinkling had looked down upon them, and found a glittering ball that 
looked like glass embodied in the solid rock. The Indians believed it was a great 
medicine, but could not get it from its resting place, and were forced to leave it there. 

This was just the kind of tale to make a strong impression upon Captain Pearce. 
who believed the Indian had found a diamond more valuable than the famed Kohinoor, 
and he determined to become its possessor. With that purpose he left California and 
reached the Dalles. With that vision before him he became a resident of Walla Walla, 
With the hope of finding that Indian talisman, or the eyes of their manitou, he 
scouted through the mountains east of Snake river, and finally induced a party of men 
to accompany him, they hoping to find gold, he still searching for the mythical dia- 

In this last-mentioned expedition into the Nez Perce country, he was accompanied 
by W. F. Bassett, Thomas Walters, Jonathan Smith, John and James Dodge, and one 
other party ; but, they were ordered to leave by that tribe who feared the result of 

A. S. IVAltf/VG. t/TH. t?0f*TLANO. Ofi 


finding rich minerals on their reservation, and they obeyed the order. Pearce, how- 
ever, found a Nez Perce squaw who said she could pilot them through to the Lolo trail 
by a route not frequented by her people, and the party again set out under her guid- 
ance. They passed to the North Fork of Clearwater through the Palouse country, 
spent three days cutting a trail through small cedars over a mountain, and found them- 
selves at length, in a mountain meadow, where they determined to rest for a while and 
let their horses recruit. 

While there, W. F. Bassett went to a stream that ran through the meadow gulch, 
and tried the soil for gold, finding about three cents in his first panful of dirt. This 
was the first discovered of that metal in those mountains, and the place where it was 
found became the noted Oro Fino mines, in what now is Idaho. They constructed a 
rude sluice from cedar bark, with which they took out some eighty dollars in gold, 
and then returned to Walla Walla, where the residence of J. C. Smith on Dry creek 
became their headquarters. This gentleman, known as Sergeant Smith, determined to 
risk all he possessed in this new venture, and immediately organized a party of about 
fifteen men, most of whom were fitted out at his own expense, to return and winter in 
the newly-discovered gold fields. It is worthy of note that, though Mr. Smith asked 
every merchant in Walla Walla to donate something towards equipping this party, not 
one of them would give a cent, and the only person who contributed towards it, except 
those who went, was Mr. Simms, owner of the Pioneer Flouring Mill, who gave 1,000 
pounds of flour out of the stock owned by him in connection with A. H. Reynolds 
and Captain F. T. Dent. 

This party as fitted out by Sergeant Smith, reached the mines in November, 1860, 
just in time to send their horses out to be wintered on Pataha creek in what is now 
Garfield county, Washington Territory, before snow shut them in for the winter. The 
Indians were indignant and disposed to be hostile at this encroachment on their 
reserve, and the soldiers started from Fort Walla Walla to arrest and remove the in- 
truders, but were headed off by the snows and could not reach them. The Nez Perces, 
when it was found that the miners could not be reached, consoled themselves with the 
cheering reflection that spring would find them dead from starvation, and consequently 
were willing for the soldiers to return to their barracks. 

The winter was spent in erecting the first five log cabins built in Oro Fino, in 
sawing lumber by hand, and working under the snow for gold. About New Years, 
two men made their way out to the settlements on snow shoes, and in March, Sergeant 
Smith accomplished the same feat, carrying with him $800 in gold dust with which he 
paid Kyger & Reese of Walla Walla the balance due them for the prospecting outfit, 
which had enabled them to reach and maintain their winter work in the mines. This 
gold dust was shipped to Portland, Oregon, where it ignited a blaze of excitement, 
that spreading with the coming spring, sent thousands on their way to the new El 


This influx of gold seekers from Oregon and California, coming up the Columbia 
river, passed through Walla Walla where they purchased mining outfits of provisions, 
tools, camp equipage, and animals to pack the same to the mines. Thus a home mar- 


ket was created, and the farmer who had anything to sell was a fortunate man. The 
mill owned by Simtns, Reynolds, and Dent held nearly all the grain that had been pro- 
duced in the country, amounting to about 16,000 bushels of wheat. A market for this 
surplus was at once obtained at high rates, farmers receiving $2.50 per bushel for their 
wheat, while the miner in Oro Fino paid as high as one dollar per pound for flour 
made from it. In fact, so great and sudden came the demand for food, that, but 
for shipments from Oregon, people would have gone hungry, consequently, starvation 
prices were paid. 

New mining regions were rapidly discovered ; first Rhodes creek, then the Elk 
City diggings, followed by Powder river and the Salmon river region known as the 
Florence mines. 

In November, 1861, many miners left the mountains and sought Walla Walla as 
a favorable place in which to winter and spend their money. The Washington States- 
man notes, regarding this, that many left the diggings that paid them from six to ten 
dollars per day, fearing a hard winter ; that the merchants of Oro Fino were refusing 
to sell goods, expecting much higher rates when the miners began to starve, after 
being snowed in for the winter. Prices at Oro Fino in November, 1861, were: 
flour, $25 per hundred; coffee, none to be had; sugar, scarce; candles, none for sale^ 
bacon and beans scarce; beef, thirty cents per pound. Can it be wondered at that the 
prospectors and miners sought Walla Walla as a cheaper resort in which to pass the 

To give the reader a better idea of the condition of the co untry in the latter part 
of 1861, we make a few extracts from the Washington Statesman of that time, showing 
the mental food dished up for the outside world, adding to the excitement already 
spreading. Editorially that paper states that : 

" S. F. Ledyard arrived last evening from the Salmon river mines, and from him it is learned 
that some 600 miners would winter there; that some 200 had gone to the south side of the river, 
where two streams head that empty into the Salmon, some thirty miles southeast of present mining 
camp. Coarse gold is found, and as high as $100 per day to the man has been taken out. The 
big mining claim of the old locality belongs to Mr. Wiser of Oregon, from where $2,680 were taken 
on the twentieth, with two rockers. On the twenty-first, $3,360 were taken out with the same 
machines. Other claims were paying from two to five pounds per day. Flour has fallen to 50 cents 
per pound, and beef, at from 15 to 25 cents, is to be had in abundance. Most of the mines sup- 
plied until first of June. Mr. L. met between Slate creek and Walla Walla, en route for the mines, 
394 packs and 250 head of beef cattle." 

The issue of December 13, 1861, contains the following : 

"The tide of emigration to Salmon river flows steadily onward. During the week past, not 
less than 225 pack animals, heavily laden with provisions, have left this city [Walla Walla] for the 
mines. * * * If the mines are one-half so rich as they are said to be, we may 

safely calculate that many of these trains will return as heavily laden with gold dust as they now 
are with provisions. ********* 

" The late news from Salmon river seems to have given the gold fever to everybody in this im- 
mediate neighborhood. A number of persons from Florence City have arrived in this place, during 
the week, and all bring the most extravagant reports as to the richness of the mines. * * 
A report, in relation to a rich strike made by Mr. Bridges of Oregon City, seems to come well 
authenticated. The first day he worked on his claim (near Baboon Gulch) he took out 57 ounces; 
the second day, he took out 157 ounces; third day, 214 ounces, and the fourth day, 200 ounces in 
two hours. One gentleman informs us that diggings have been found on the bars of Salmon river 
which yield from 25 cents to $2.50 to the pan, and that on claims in the Salmon river, diggings 


have been found where ' ounces ' won't describe them, and where they say ' the gulches are full of 

fT/^I/l n^'n SJ? »JC »(» ■!* 5|C !|C 3(1 ■!» ^ 

" The discoverer of Baboon Gulch arrived in this city yesterday, bringing with him 60 pounds 
of gold dust, and Mr. Jacob Weiser is on his way in with a mule loaded with gold dust." 

Enough has been given to show the class of reports that were sent abroad which 
could have resulted in nothing less than a tidal wave of excited fortune-hunters 
flowing into the mountains in 1862. Add to this the fact that $1,750,000 in gold 
dust was shipped from this region that year out into the world, to give force to the re- 
ports, and the results may be imagined. 


In view of this, a large amount of stock had been driven into the Walla Walla 
country in the latter part of 1861, and many had made calculations on raising pro- 
duce to sell the coming season. That winter was the severest known to whites on the 
Pacific Coast. The California rancher will not soon forget it, for it strewed the beau- 
tiful plains of his State with dead cattle by the tens of thousands. The Washington 
Territory citizen of that date will hold it among his lasting memories, for it impover- 
ished him if he had anything to buy or animals to starve. The winter commenced in 
December, and the following twenty-second of March, the Statesman notes that warm 
rains have set in and the snow is disappearing. " Occasionally the sun shines out when 
the sunny side of the street is lined with men." Hay went up to $125 per ton, flour 
to $25 per barrel in Walla Walla, and the loss of stock was estimated $1,000,000 in 
this section of the country. 

Prices in Oro Fino in December, 1861, were: 

Bacon per pound $ .50 to $ .60 Sugar per pound $ .40 to $ .50 

Flour per hundredweight 25.00 to 30.00 Candles per pound 80 to 1-00 

Beans per pound 25 to .30 Tea per pound 1.25 to 1.50 

Rice per pound 40 to .50 Tobacco per pound 1.00 to 1.50 

Butter per pound 75 to 1.00 Coffee per pound "50 

At Florence prices in February, 1862, were : 

Flour per pound $ 1 00 Sugar per pound $ 1 25 

Bacon " 125 Coffee " 2 00 

Butter " 3 00 Tea " 2 50 

Cheese " 1 50 Gum boots per pair 30 00 

Lard " 1 25 Shovels from $12 to 16 00 


With the opening of spring in 1862, the rush commenced, and the merchants be- 
gan to reap their harvest. The farmers were not so fortunate, for the hard winter had 
left many destitute of teams and seed grain, who were forced to buy at exorbitant 
prices, or abandon agriculture and join the grand army of gold lunatics. The Wash- 
ington Statesman of March 22, 1862, records that : " From persons who have arrived 
here from the Dalles during the week, we learn that there were some four thousand 
miners in Portland, fifteen days ago, awaiting the opening of navigation to the upper 
country. Hundreds were arriving by every steamer, and the town was literally filled 
to overflowing." April 5, the same paper states that : " From 130 to 140 passen- 



gers, on their way to the mines, came up to Wallula on every steamer, and the 
majority of them foot it through to this place (Walla Walla)." During April, 
3,000 persons left Portland by steamer for the mines, and by the last of May it 
was estimated that between 20,000 or 25,000 persons had reached, or were on their 
way to and near the mines east of the Cascade mountains. The yield accounted for 
of gold in 1862 in this region of country, reached $7,000,000, and several millions in 
addition to this were shipped through avenues not reported. 

Such were the results, following in a few short months upon the trail pioneered by 
E. D. Pearce, W. F. Bassett and their little party of prospectors whom the Indians 
had driven out of their country but to return to it again and again, first led by a 
squaw, then through assistance of J. C. Smith when pursued as trespassers by a company 
of United States cavalry. Enough has been given to show the reader the influence that 
awoke Eastern Washington and Oregon from their sleep through the centuries, to a new 
era of activity and usefulness. 


It will be inferred from the foregoing that the question of who should hold the 
Walla Waila county offices, had become one of importance, in view of the sudden in- 
crease of population that had come from various countries, and was was made up of 
every shade of character, from a thief and murderer, to the respectable citizen. Values 
to all kinds of property had greatly increased, and the large proportion of transient 
people who paid regard only to their own wishes, caring for no law except that which 
was backed by the click of a nimble revolver, rendered it important that men selected 
for office should have a character that would command the respect of a thief, a des- 
perado, or an honest man. These were rare qualities and few possessed them. The 
question of whether he was a Democrat or Republican was little cared for, and as the 
time for an election approached, some of the leading citizens joined in a call for a 
mass convention to place candidates before the electors. To this call, which named 
June 21, 1862, and Walla Walla city as the time and place for assembling, were 
attached the following names : 

Archer, R. H. 
Agnew, J. D. 
Brooks, Quin. A. 
Bush, C. S. 
Baker, D. S. 
Ball, W. A. 
Buckley, J. 
Bridges, O. L. 
Buckley, S. 
Cain, A. J. 
Cady, H. J. 
Cranston, E. P. 
Chenoweth, F. A. 
De Lacy, W. W. 

Goodhive, J. P. 
Hodges, H. M. 
Horton, W. P. 
Hellmuth, J. 
Howard, H. 
Ingersoll, J. B. 
Johnson, W. W. 
Jacobs, R. 

Kohlhauff & Guichard. 
Kelly, E. E. 
Kyger, A. 
Linkton, S. 
Lazarus, M. 
Northrop, N. 

Nugent, E. 
Norton, J. M. 
Phillips, W. 
Patton, W. H. 
Rees, R. R. 
Reese, I. T. 
Roberts, A. B. 
Sheedeman, B. 
Simms, J. A. 
Schwabacker, A. 
Sheets, John 
Schnebly, D. J. 
Van Dyke, J. 
Young, D. 





















This convention failed to nominate, from what cause does not appear, when 
various parties became candidates before the people, with the following results : 


Office. Name. Vote. No. Candidates. Total vote. 

Representative N. Northrop 355 

Representative S. D. Smith 317 

Representative H. M. Chase 302 

Representative F. A. Chenoweth 132 

District Attorney Edward Nugent 371 

Sheriff James Buckley 1 Appointed .... 

Treasurer James McAuliff 385 

Assessor H. M. Hodgis 335 

Surveyor W. W. Johnson 235 

School Superintendent J. F. Wood 341 

Coroner L. C. Kinney ... 355 

County Commissioner James Van Dyke 2 361 

County Commissioner John Sheets 257 

County Commissioner S. S. Galbreath 3 147 


During 1862, eighty buildings were erected in Walla Walla City, including a 
planing mill and sash and blind factory, which was an increase of over one hundred 
per cent, upon its dimensions at the close of 1861. Thirteen buildings are noted on the 
recorded survey in October, of this last named year all of which were standing wholly 
or partially either in Main or one of its cross streets. 

Farmers produced little to sell in the mines or home market, and prices ruled high. 
Many of those who had ranches were also teamsters, and saw more money in freight- 
ing than in tilling the soil. Sufficient grain had been produced, however, to warrant 
A. H. Reynolds in building another flouring establishment on Yellow Hawk creek in 
1862, that was known in those days as the Frontier, and now as the Star Mill. 

From the army of emigrants crossing the plains that year, and from California 
and Oregon, there were some who settled for agricultural purposes along the creeks and 
rivers skirting the north and west base of the Blue mountains. The emigrating wave 
was bringing its quota of permanent citizens who were to remain and build up the 
country. Capt. Medorem Crawford, commanding the emigrant escort of about 80 men, 
who crossed the plains in 1862, estimated the number of wagons on the road for Wash- 
ington Territory and Oregon at 1,600, and the people at 10,000. From the Statesman 
of October 25, that year, the following is obtained in regard to a portion of that mov- 
ing army: 

"A great many of this year's emigrants have pitched their tents in the Grand Ronde valley, 
and taken claims; some estimate the number as high as 1,500, but I should judge that seven or 
eight would number the whole. They are still coming in, and are generally in very poor circum- 
stances; and they want especially supplies of provisions for the winter and spring, and for these, 

1 Isaac L. Roberts was appointed February 7, 1863; resigned March 17, and E. B. Whitman appointed same day. 

2 Resigned in August, 1863 ; H. D. O'Bryant appointed September 5, 1863. 

3 Failed to qualify and was appointed August 5, 1862. 



they are willing to pledge their stock. * * * * They are mostly from 

Iowa; are intelligent, moral, industrious, and loyal, and if helped and encouraged, will make one 
the finest settlements in all the land. ******* 

" They are at present generally engaged in building houses, and many have sent their teams to 
Walla Walla and the Dalles for provisions. Mr. J. A. Simms has very generously promised to 
supply them with flour for the winter on time. There is a saw mill in course of erection at the 
head of the valley, and a small town being built up called La Grande, numbering about fifteen 
houses. Flour was selling there at $15 per hundred." 

A month later, the same paper states that La Grande contained 100 population, 
two stores, one hotel and a blacksmith shop ; and that Fox and Goodnough were the 
owners whose saw mill had commenced operations within one and a half miles of that 
place. In March, 1862, Lewiston, at the confluence of Clearwater and Snake rivers, 
and Wallula in April had been laid out as towns. The former place just beyond the 
east limits of WallaWalla county, the last named village upon the banks of the Columbia, 
a city of less than a hundred houses at the Blue mountain base known as Walla Walla, 
La Grande up in the Grand Ronde valley among the mountains, the military trading 
post at the Dalles, and Pinkney City (Colville) of Spokane county, constituted the 
village settlements (not including mountain mining towns) between the Cascade and 
Rocky mountains at the close of 1862. 

The winter of 1862 and '3 in Eastern Washington and Oregon was as mild as that of 
1861 and '2 had been severe. Up to the first of February, 1863, there had been no 
winter, and a Chenook wind on the sixteenth of that month cleared the valley of snow 
that had been lying upon the ground but a week, and ended the cold season. 

events of 1863. 

It will be remembered the Legislature of 1858, by the creation of Spokane county, 
made Snake river the north and east boundary line of Walla Walla county, and left 
with it all, except Klikitat county, lying between the Cascade range and the Columbia. 
In January, 1863, the Legislature took another slice west of the Columbia along the 
borders of the British possessions and north of the Wenatchee river, out of which 
Stevens county was created and attached to Spokane for judicial purposes. 

In the latter part of 1862, the Boise mines had been discovered, and with the 
opening of spring, the tide of emigration turned that way. This left Walla Walla to 
one side of the most direct line to the new region for freights and passengers up the 
Columbia river, and a new town was laid out and called Umatilla, at the mouth of 
the river of that name. From that place a line of stages was put on to pass over the 
emigrant road to Boise, and the Garrison City lost much of the trade advantage of 
the new region because of this fact ; but, notwithstanding this, the energy and activity 
of her merchants and citizens secured a large proportion of it. Two daily stage lines 
ran between Walla Walla and Wallula, were crowded with passengers at $5 fare, while 
freight between these two places was $20 per ton. July 1, a tri-weekly mail from the 
Dalles was started, and the Statesman complained in August because the carrier was 
drunk at Umatilla, and failed to get a mail throngh for over a week. 

The Oregon Steam Navigation Company had a considerable opposition in passen- 
ger and freight traffic on the Columbia, but in 1863, after completing their railroad at 


the Cascades, and between the Dalles and Celilo, they succeed in buying it off, when 
they established in July the following rates from Portland to the interior : 

Freight to Dalles $15 00 per ton Passenger fare $ 6 00 

Umatilla 45 00 " " " 18 00 

Wallula 50 00 " " " 18 00 

Lewiston 90 00 •* " " 28 00 

Some idea of the amount of freight passing through the country may be obtained 
from the knowledge that upon completion of the thirteen-mile Dalles and Celilo rail- 
way, the O. S. N. Co. sold to the Government for $43,000, the teams they had been 
using at that point in transporting freights. 

politics or 1863. 

In the election of 1863, a Delegate to Congress was to be voted for, and the civil 
war being in progress, caused men to take sides politically, and a vigorous campaign 
throughout the Territory was the result. George E. Cole, a resident of Walla Walla, 
was placed upon the Democratic ticket, and the Republicans struggled hard to reduce 
his majority at home as much as possible. The Radical vote of Walla Walla county 
in 1863 only constituted a trifle over one-third of its voting population, and a ticket 
was placed in the field only to maintain a party organization, for the effect it would 
have in a Territorial election, without hope of securing any portion of the county 
offices : 


Office. Name. Politics. Vote. No. Candidates. Total vote. 

Delegate George E. Colei .... Dem 

Delegate J. O. Kaynor Eep 

Prosecuting Attorney . . S. B. Fargo Rep 

Joint Councilman Daniel Stewart Dem 

Representative S. W. Babcock Dem 

Representative F. P. Dugan Dem 

Representative L. S. Rogers Dem 

Sheriff W. S. Gilliam Dem 

Auditor L. J. Rector Dem 

Assessor Cyms. Leyde a Dem 

Coroner L. Danforth Dem 

County Commissioner. Thomas P. Page Dem 


The Washington Statesman of October 24, 1863, states that the county auditor 

and treasurer were laboring diligently to learn what the county debt really was, and 

editorially asserts that, 

" The books, as far back as any have been kept, have been reviewed and posted. Some of 

them — especially those of the first auditor — have been badly kept, and in some cases where county 

scrip has been redeemed no registry has been made, and other similar errors appear. Therefore, to 

1 Elected. 

2. Removed from county; J. H. Blewett appointed February 1, 1864. 














. .... 11 



242 ... 



... 545 







326 . . . . 




get at the exact amount of the indebtedness, without calling in the scrip, is quite an impossibility. 
We are informed by the auditor that the debt will probably reach from $25,000 to $30,000, and by 
the treasurer that the amount of scrip now drawing interest is $21,286. There is a probable 
amount of five to ten thousand dollars outstanding that has never been presented to the treasurer 
for acceptance. It is known that a considerable amount of scrip has been lost and destroyed by 
holders, and it is, therefore, quite likely that in case of calling in the scrip, the amount outstand- 
ing would be found to not greatly exceed the amount shown by the books of the treasurer to be 
drawing interest. 3 ' 

The grand jury, in their report of October 22, 1863, fired a broadside into the 
official ranks as follows : 

In the treasury, October 10, 1863, county funds $ 176 02 

In the treasury, October 10, 1863, school funds 1,916 00 

In the treasury, October 10, 1863, territorial funds 106 38 

In the treasury, October 10, 1863, United States direct tax 74 

Total in the treasury, October 10, 1863 $ 2,199 14 

Due on county orders presented 21,286 00 

Due on county orders not presented 2,294 42 

Total amount due $22,580 42 


Storage of county arms in an out-shed by Wm. B. Kelly $ 375 00 

William B. Kelly as school superintendent $ 318 75 

(The jury say he has not earned over twenty-five dollars per year.) 

Rent of county offices — exorbitant $1,955 58 

Doctor bills for paupers $3,496 16 

" The county officers' books, previous to the present incumbents have been so im- 
perfectly kept that it is impossible to derive a correct conclusion from them. * * 
We find upon examination of Sheriff Buckley's business that his books have been 
very unsatisfactorily kept ; that many most exorbitant bills have been allowed him. 
We believe he has failed to pay over a large portion of the taxes collected by him 
which were due the county and territory. * * * * . 

" John McGhee, Foreman." 


The winter that ushered in the year 1864 was a mild one, and the early spring- 
saw revive with renewed vigor, such business as had been checked by the temporary 
breach in trade and travel to the mountain towns. The first line of stages between 
Boise and Walla Walla, was put on in the spring of 1864, by George F. Thompson & 
Co., although three different companies, including Wells, Fargo & Co., had been run- 
ning an express in 1863 over that route. The discovery of the Kootenai mines, near 
the head waters of the Columbia river, in the British possessions, had created an ex- 
citement that in June, divided the rush of emigration between that place and Boise. 
Walla Walla was a central point, where those coming up the Columbia could get out- 
fits for either place, and cross the country independent of public transportation. It 


increased the importance of this locality, and tended to give confidence in the perma- 
nent settlement of the Walla Walla region. 

On the first of July, the first " overland mail " left Walla Walla for the Eastern 
States by way of Boise and Salt Lake, and on the twentieth of the month, the first 
mail arrived in this city from the East over the same route. The mail contract had 
been taken by the celebrated Ben Holladay, and the rate by this route for passengers 
from Portland, Oregon, to Atchinson, Kansas, was $260, with twenty-five pounds of 
baggage free. It was supposed to take twenty days to make the trip, and that $40 
would pay for meals on the way. 

There were at that time (1864) several points more favorably situated for some 
special mining locality than was the rapidly growing city of Walla Walla, but the latter 
place was a natural and geographical center from which to supply all, and what was 
then true continues so, and will remain, unless transportation hostility shall create a 

The enrollment for a draft, in 1864, showed that 1,133 residents of Walla Walla 
county were subject to military duty, but it was claimed at the time by Democrats, 
that to get this number, 300 persons had been enumerated who were but transient 
people on their way to the mines. This, however, with the election returns showing 
628 votes cast, is the only guide left, by which to judge of the number of its pojDula- 
tion at that time. The assessment rolls of that year give the property value of the 
county at $1,545,056, an increase of $432,145 over that of 1863. The debt of the 
county is given by the Statesman as being $17,000, of which $3,000 should be charged 
to defaulting officials, and $4,500 to loss by depreciation in the value of county scrip 
issued to pay for the county jail. 

Among the occurrences worthy of note in connection with 1864, might be 
mentioned the destruction by fire of the Catholic mission at Coeur d'Alene; the im- 
portation of a flock of quails from the Willamette valley by George F. Thompson, who 
turned them loose on the Tumalum ; and the disorganization of Spokane county, which 
was consolidated with Stevens county. Another notable fact that will bear men- 
tion, is the great drouth of that year temporarily converting California into a barren 
desert, which was felt strongly in Washington Territory, no rain falling east of the 
Cascades between the first of July and seventh of September. 

It was also found in 1864, that the uplands of the Walla Walla country would 
produce grain, one of the farmers having gathered thirty-three bushels to the acr 
from a field of fifty acres, sowed the previous fall, on the hills that heretofore had been 
considered useless for agricultural purposes. This was a more important discovery than 
that of the mountain gold fields, for it was a bread mine, opened for millions that are 
yet to come. The drouth of 1864 did not prevent a bounteous wheat harvest, and 
a larger surplus of grain than ever before in the valley, much of which was sold at 
from one and a half to two cents per pound. 


In 1864, the Democrats of the country met in convention at Walla Walla City, 
May 18, and adopted resolutions showing that the leaders were strongly Union, and 



that the rank and file of the party were of the same sentiment, else such resolutions 
would not have been given out as articles of faith. 

There were some intense Rebels in the country at the time, who, though protest- 
ing against this plank, were forced to co-operate with those who adopted it, or be prac- 
tically disfranchised, as they would rather be found dead than voting with the Repub- 
licans. The Democrats placed a county and legislative ticket in the field, headed 
" Regular Democratic Ticket," and another one was put in opposition to it, under the 
title of " Unconditional Union Ticket." James McAuliff was candidate for treasurer 
with both parties, and after a quiet canvass in which the newspaper took no sides, the 
results were announced as follows : 


Office Name. Politics. 

Prosecuting Attorney. . . J. H. Lasater 1 Dem 

Prosecuting Attorney. . . S. B. Fargo Rep 

Councilman W. G. Langford Dem 

Representative A. L. Brown Dem 

Representative F. P. Dugan Dem 

Representative E. L. Bridges Dem 

Representative O. P. Lacy Dem 

Representative B. N. Sexton Rep 

Joint Representative . Alvin Flanders Rep 

Probate Judge J. H. Blewett Dem 

Treasurer James McAuliff Dem 

Assessor William H. Patton 2 . . Dem 

Surveyor Charles White 3 Dem 

Coroner A. J. Thibodo Dem 

County Commissioner. .H. D. O'Bryan 4 Dem 

For special tax, 230; against special tax, 365. 
The whole number of votes polled in the county was 628, a gain of only 26 over 

that of 1863. It was claimed that 100 persons failed to vote. The following exhibit 

of the vote cast for councilman in the different precincts will give a fair idea of how 

politics stood in different parts of the county at that time, and the comparative pop- 
ulation ; 

Precinct. Democratic. Republican. 

Walla Walla 287 149 

Lower Touchet 11 33 

Upper Touchet 41 49 

Snake River 2 7 

Wallula 1 12 

Pataha 2 10 

Total vote 344 260 


With the early spring of 1865 following upon a mild winter that had preceded 

1 Refused to qualify, b. B. Fargo appointed October 3, 1864. 

2 Removed from county. J. H. Blewett appointed December 8, 1864. 

3 Resigned March 8. 1865. 

4 Resigned September 9, 1865. Elisha Ping appointed. 

357 . 

No. Candidates. 
2 ... 

Total vote. 

219 . 

2 ... 

. 576 

344 . 

2 ... 


373 . 

10 . . . 

324 . 

10 . . . 

337 . 

10 . . . 


10 . . . 

280 . 

10 . . . 

269 . 



346 . 

2 .. . 


581 . 

1 ... 


323 . 

2 . . . 


352 . 

2 . .. 


341 . 

1 ... 

. . 341 

345 . 

2 ... 



it, there was a rush of emigration for the " Northern Mines." In February a thou- 
sand miners had congregated in Portland, waiting for the Columbia river to open and 
let them pass to its head waters, and the Statesman of February 24, asserted that the 
next California steamer was expected to bring fifteen hundred more. 

It was in the early part of this year, that Charles "Wilson caused an excitement 
about gold that he falsely claimed to have discovered in the Coeur d'Alene country, 
when a large party congregated and followed him on a wild goose chase through the 
mountains. They were about to hang him when the deception was discovered, but 
concluded that he was crazy, and let him go. 

A large portion of the city of Walla Walla was burned August 3, 1865, at which 
time the town plats, county assessment rolls, and city records, were reported lost. 

Agriculture still maintained its position among the profitable industries, prices 
ranging high. In June, eggs were sold in Walla Walla at 40 cents per dozen, butter 
at 40 cents a pound, and in September, wheat at $1.25 per bushel. 

The town of Waitsburg made its appearance on the banks of the Touchet, in the 
spring of 1865, beginning its prosperous career with a flour mill and a school-house. 


The Washington Statesman, a Democratic paper published in Walla Walla, stated 
in its issue of September 9, 1864, that " It is a fact worthy of remark that nine-tenths 
of the emigrants now coming in are Democrats, upwards of a hundred of this peculiar 
kind have settled in this country." This would indicate an increased majority for their 
ticket, in 1865, over that of the previous year, but such was not the case. A thorough 
organization of the Republican party took place in the county, and delegates were 
chosen to attend the Territorial Convention, who were instructed to support Elwood 
Evans for Congressional Delegate, but A. A. Denny was placed upon the ticket by 
that body, on the fourth of April. Mr. Denny had been for four years the Land 
Office Register at Olympia. 

The Democrats, with their organization well in hand, as it had been for several 
years, entered the contest with characteristic vigor. The Walla Walla County Con- 
vention affirmed that it was proper to concede the choice of Congressional Delegate to 
a resident west of the mountains ; but, if no agreement could be made as to who the 
Coast candidate should be, in such event, they desired the name of James H. Lasater 
placed on the ticket for that position. James Tilton was nominated by the Territorial 
Convention, however, and the canvass, conducted with a show of considerable feeling, 
resulted in Walla Walla county as follows : 


Office. Name. Politics. Vote. No- Candidates. Total vote. 

Delegate Arthur A. Denny 1 . . . .Rep 336 2 742 

Delegate James Tilton Dem 406 2 742 

Prosecuting Attorney . . S. B. Fargo Eep 345 2 715 

Joint Councilman Anderson Cox' 2 Rep 364 2 723 

Representative J. D. Mix Dem 396 10 


I Office. Name. Politics. Vote. No. Candidates. Total vote. 

Representative James McAuliff Dem 392 10 

Representative A. G. Lloyd .Dem 368 10 

Representative T. G. Lee Dem 362 10 

Representative B. N. Sexton Rep 354 10 

Joint Representative . . . J. M. Vansyckle 3 Dam 367 2 729 

Sheriff A. Seitel Rep 407 2 736 

Auditor J. H. Blewett Dem 399 2 729 

Assessor „ . H. M. Hodgis Dem 393 2 709 

Surveyor T. F. Berry 359 1 359 

School Superintendent .J. L. Reeser Dem 386 2 730 

Coroner A. J. Miner Dem 384 2 728 

County Commissioner . . D. M. Jessee Dem 396 2 726 

The vote stood in the various precincts as follows : 

Walla Walla 539, Wallula 54, Upper Touchet 96, Lower Touchet 39, Pataha 16, 
Snake River 5, total 749. This was a gain of 122 votes in the county simce 1864, 
mostly Union, proving that, if the Statesman had correctly given the politics of emi- 
grants of 1864, there had been some very effective work done by the Republicans. At 
this election, the average Democratic vote of Walla Walla city was 291, and the aver- 
age Republican vote in the same precinct was 238. In all other precincts the majority 
was for Republican candidates, but the Democratic ticket was elected by a small ma- 
jority, with two exceptions, as indicated by the foregoing returns. The Republican 
candidate for Congressional Delegate was elected by over 1,000 majority in the Ter- 
ritory, and the Legislative body of the Territory stood, politically : Council, 7 Repub- 
cans and 2 Democrats ; House, 22 Republicans and 7 Democrats. 

1 Elected. 

2 To fill vacancy ooasioned by removal of Daniel Stewart from the Territory; but, when Stewart learned that a Republican 

had been elected, he returned and claimed the seat, which he retained but did not occupy. 

3 Representative for Walla Walla, Klikitat, and Skamania counties. 




The Statesman of December 22, 1865, records that: "For nearly a week, with 
occasional intervals, snow has continued to fall until at this writing, the whole valley 
of Walla Walla is covered to the depth of from fourteen to eighteen inches. This was 
unprecedented ; teamsters on their way out of the mountains, caught by the storm in 
Grand Ronde valley, left their wagons and made all possible dispatch with their teams 
for safety. A large amount of stock perished on Powder river. January 16, following, 
a storm commenced that lasted three days and deposited in the valley eighteen inches 
of snow, and February 9, a chenook wind cleared the country of this fleecy carpet. 
On the twenty-second of the same month news reached Walla Walla that the Colum- 
bia river being cleared of ice, navigation was opened through to Portland, and the 
Statesman of March 16, observes that : " After continuous rains and fogs for weeks 
and weeks, we are now favored with delightful spring." A month later the same 
paper states that : " The oldest inhabitant has never known such disagreeable, cloudy 
weather at this season." 


With the opening spring came a rush to the Montana mines. Again we refer 
to the Statesman, to give the reader an idea of the condition of this country at that 
time. It was the culmination of the prosperous mining epoch that placed Walla Walla 
upon a basis of permanence. Says the Statesman of April 13, 1866 : 

"In the history of mining excitements, we doubt whether there ever has been a rush equal to 
that now going on to Montana. From every point of the compass, they drift by hundreds and 
thousands, and the cry is, ' still they come.' The excitement promises to depopulate portions of 
California, and from our own Territory, as well as Oregon, the rush is unprecedented. The stages 
that leave here go out loaded down with passengers, all bound for Blackfoot. 

" In addition to the usual conveyances, men of enterprise have placed paasenger trains on the 
route between Walla Walla and Blackfoot, and those trains go oat daily, with full passenger lists. 
Fare, with provisions furnished, $80." 

With this vast increase in population in the mountains, the question of where 
goods should come from to supply them, became one of great moment as between San 

Francisco and Chicago, and the rates of transportation would of course decide it. The 


Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco collated and published information upon this 
subject, for the benefit of Pacific Coast merchants, from which we extract the follow- 
"From San Francisco, by way of Owyhee and Snake river, to Helena, 1,190 miles, costs per 

ton $345 

"From San Francisco, by way of Portland and Snake river to Lewiston, thence by land to 

Helena, 1,338 miles, costs per ton 320 

" From San Francisco, by way of Portland to Wallula, thence by land to Helena, 1,283 miles 

costs per ton • • • • 275 

"From San Francisco, by way way of Portland to White Bluffs, thence by land to Helena, 

1,370 miles, costs per ton : .... 270 

On the same occasion the following was laid before the Chamber of Commerce by 
Mr. Garvey, for the information of that body : 

" It has been truthfully stated that trade will find its natural channels. The first goods taken 
into Montana Territory from the Pacific Coast, were from Lewiston in the fall of 1863. Since then, 
owing to the more recent discoveries of gold, and the increase of population, supplies were ob- 
tained from St. Louis by reason of superior inducements. Last summer and fall, owing to the dif- 
ficulty of navigating the Missouri river, sufficient supplies could not be obtained to fill the demands 
of the country. 

" I have, in my possession, some facts concerning the amount of goods, and means of trans- 
portation, during the season of 1865, from the head of navigation on the Columbia to Blackfoot 
(Montana), to which I would call the attention of this meeting. 

" Over 100 pack trains, averaging 50 animals each, with 300 pounds to the animal, making an 
aggregate of 750 tons, were sent from different points on the Columbia river to Montana. 

" The cost of transportation of these goods was not less than $240,000; the value of the goods 
about $1,200,000, making the total value of goods laid down at Helena, during the one season, by 
the Columbia river alone, $1,440,000. 

" The distance by land travel is 450 miles, the price of freight varied from 13 to 18 cents per 

From the foregoing the reader will obtain some knowledge of the amount of 
freights passing through the Walla Walla valley in 1865 ; and in 1866, it was a ques- 
tion of five dollars per ton in favor of White Bluffs over Walla Walla as between the 
two routes to Montana. The Oregon Steam Navigation Company were desirous of 
building up a town at White Bluffs, and favored that route, which aroused the Walla 
Walla teamsters, and they published a card, stating that they preferred Wallula as a 
point from which to take freight to Montana, to any other on the Columbia river. 
The following names were appended to the protest, which are given to show who were 
some of the teamsters in this section at that time, April 6, 1866 : 
W. A. Ball John O. Donald John Dunn 

J. W. Harbert Richard Farrell S. Clayton 

J. S. Cairns D. M. Grow W. M. Ewing 

Charles Russell Baldwin & Whitman H. L. Boyle 

W. Bernding J. C. Calls P. M. Lynch 

E. T. Lowe Milton Evans C. Jacobs & Co. 

J. W. Morrison T. B. Williams G. F. Thomas 

G. A. Evans A. J. Evans S. Linkton 

G. W. Evans A. L. Jones 



It has been noted that Anderson Cox was elected to the Legislature from Walla 
Walla in 1865, to fill a supposed vacancy. When it was found that no vacancy ex- 
isted, Mr. Cox went to the State Capitol in Oregon, and set on foot a scheme for an- 
nexation of Walla Walla to that State. A memorial was sent to Congress by the 
Oregon Legislature with this object in view, which called out much comment, favor- 
able and otherwise, from the section interested. The Walla Walla bar addressed a 
letter of thanks to I. R. Moores, speaker of the Oregon Legislature, which called forth 
some vigorous remarks by those who were not favorably impressed with the annexation 

The county election of that year was unincumbered by the Delegate question, 
and resulted in a clear sweep by the Democrats, including the Joint Councilmau with 
Stevens county. 


Office. Name. Politics. Vote. No. Candidates. Total vote. 

Joint Councilman B. L. Sharpstein 1 . . .Dem 454 2 746 

Representative D. M. Jessee Dem 424 10 

Representative R. Jacobs Dem 422 10 

Representative R R. Rees Dem 409 10 

Representative H. D. O'Bryant Dem 394 10 

Representative Thomas P. Page . . . Dem 389 10 

Treasurer James McAuliff Dem 415 2 : ... 619 

Asssessor ■ . .H. M. Hodgis Dem 453 2 610 

School Superintendent .W. G. Langford Dem 426 2 602 

County Commissioner . . T. G-. Lee Dem 392 5 

County Commissioner. .H A. Livingston' 2 . . .Dem 391 5 

County Surveyor W. L. Gaston Appointed in December, 1866. 

Never during its history had the county been supplied with sufficient and proper 
accommodations. The jail was but a modern skeleton, from which all who were con- 
fined on charges serious enough to make escape desirable, were in the habit of escaping, 
apparently at will. The only way to prevent this was to iron the prisoners, a method 
so cruel and unjust to men who were simply charged with crimes of which they might 
be innocent, that it was only resorted to in extreme cases. The grand jury frequently 
called attention to this condition of affairs, and in 1866 an effort was made to patch 
up the old structure. The city, for the privilege of using the jail, built a high fence 
around it, while the county spent a small sum in plugging up the holes made by 
escaping prisoners, and in fitting up a room over the cells for the jailor to occupy. In 
the matter of county offices the county was no better off. The grand jury in 1864 
made a report, saying, "We, the grand jury, find that it is the duty of the county 
commisisoners to furnish offices for the different county officers. This we find they 
have not done. To-day the offices of the officers are in one place, to-morrow in 
another, and we do hope at the next meeting of the board of county commissioners, 
that they will, for the sake of the integrity of Walla Walla county, furnish the difter- 

No election was held at the foot of the mountains, Pataha and Wallula. 

1 Includes vote of Stevens county. 

2 Killed by threshing machine August 24, 1866; Elisha Ping appointed December 3. 


ent county officers with good offices." No effort was made to do this until the meeting 
of March 11, 1867, when a building was purchased of S. Linkton, on the corner of 
Alder and Third streets, to be paid for in thirty monthly installments of $100 each. 
This was fitted up at an expense of $500 for county purposes, and for the first time 
since its organization Walla Walla owned a court-house, though in appearance it was 
a structure deficient in that calculated to create or develop pride in those who saw it. 


The important feature of that year was the beginning of exportation to the coast 
of flour, the one manufactured product of the county. A few barrels of this article 
were forwarded as an experiment, and for some reason the O. S. N. Co. advanced the 
rate of freight, bringing out the following complaint from the Statesman : "At a time 
when the rates of transportation are being lowered, and low freights are the order of 
the day, it will surprise the public to learn that the O. 8. N. Co. has advanced the 
rate on flour shipped from Wallula to the Dalles, from $7.50 to $17.50 per ton. It is 
only a few weeks since the business of shipping produce from this place was fairly in- 
augurated, and now before the experiment can fairly be said to have had a trial, the 
O. S. N. Co., by means of an exorbitant tariff, endeavors to stifle the movement in its 
infancy." That the company had no such intention was evidenced in April by a re- 
duction of the rate of down freight. The amount of flour shipped to the Dalles and 
Portland from April 19 to June 2, 1867, was 4,735 barrels, the charges being six dol- 
lars per ton to both points. The same amount of flour as formerly was sent to 
Lewiston and the mines. This was the beginning of the outward movement of the 
products of this county, made as an experiment, under circumstances that proved the 
practicability of a steady exportation of flour by the millers of this valley, and a con- 
sequent market for the vast quantities of grain it was capable of producing. Experi- 
ments were also made in shipments of wheat later in the season, by Frank & Wert- 
heimer, merchants of Walla Walla. This firm forwarded 15,000 bushels with such a 
satisfactory result as to prove that wheat also could be shipped down the Columbia at a 


The political cauldron boiled furiously in 1867, the general interest of the terri- 
tory being centered in the contest for United States Delegate. Each party had a score 
of aspirants for the office, those from this region being F. P. Dugan, D. M. Jessee, 
Ed. Shiel, W. G. Langford, J. H. Lasater, J. E. Wyche, Anderson Cox, and Alvin 
Flanders, the first five being Democrats and the others Republicans. The feeling in 
this section was very strong on the question of choosing a Delegate from east of the 
mountains, the people of the Sound having enjoyed this honor and advantage longer 
than seemed warranted by the ideas of justice and policy as entertained by the people 
of the Walla Walla section. The Republican county convention sent an uninstructed 
delegation to the Territorial Convention, though a strong effort was made in favor of 
Judge Wyche. The Democratic delegates were instructed in favor of W. G. Langford, 
of Walla Walla. They were also directed to support no man for office who favored 



the scheme of annexation to Oregon. Frank Clark, of Pierce county, was nominated 
by the Democrats after a hard struggle, during which F. P. Dugan received twenty- 
nine votes, within two of a nomination, and W. G. Langford twenty-three votes. Alvan 
Flanders, a Walla Walla merchant, was nominated by the Republicans. He was a 
" dark horse," starting in with but two votes and finally beating A. A. Denny, S. Gar- 
fielde, and J. E. Wyche, the strong candidates. 

County politics were in the most disorganized condition into which they have ever 
fallen, owing to two years of agitation of the Vigilance question. The Republicans 
availed themselves of the situation to secure the election of Flanders, trading votes 
with the Democrats on local offices to obtain their votes for the Republican nominee 
for Congress. The result was, that, although there was a Democratic majority of about 
250 in Walla Walla county for other offices, for Delegate the majority was but 124 
making a Republican gain of about 125 votes ; and as the majority for Flanders in 
the Territory was but 96, it is evident that his election was secured by the contest 
here. Owing to the Vigilance issue, the election returns exhibit many eccentric 


Office. Name. Politics. 

Delegate Frank Clark Dem 

Delegate Alvan Flanders 1 Rep 

Prosecuting Attorney. . . F. P. Dugan. 2 Dem 

Councilman W. H. Newell Dem 

Joint Councilman J. M. Yansyckle 3 

. .Dem 642 

Representative W. P. Horton ...... .Dem 

Representative E. Ping Dem 

Representative J- M. Lamb Dem 

Representative P. B. Johnson Rep 

Representative B. F. Regan Dem 

Probate Judge H. M. Chase Dem 

Sheriff A. Seitel 4 Dem 

Auditor J. H. Blewett Dem 

Treasurer J. D. Cook Rep 

Assessor C. Ireland Dem 

Surveyor W. L. Gaston 

School Superintendent. C. Eells Rep 

Coroner L. H. Goodwin Dem 

County Commissioner. . S. M. Wait Rep 

County Commissioner. .D. M. Jessee 5 Dem 

County Commissioner. .A. H. Reynolds 6 Rep 


No. Candidates. 
2 .. 

Total vote. 


2 .. 



3 .. 

....... 1184 


■ 3 .. 

2 .. 

14 . . 




14 . . . 




14 . . 


■ • 14 . . 


2 .. 



3 .. 



3 .. 



2 .. 



3 ... 



2 .. 



2 .. 



3 ... 



7 .. 


7 .. 


7 .. 

1 Elected. 

2 Includes 85 of a total of 176 votes from Stevens county. 

3 Includes 101 of a total of 137 votes from Stevens county. 

i Besigned November 7, 1868; James McAuliff appointed same day. 

5 Evidently a mistake in the returns, as W. T. Barnes, a Democrat, was elected, 

6 Resigned May 3, 1869; D. S. Baker appointed May 5. 



This was a year of importance to the county of Walla Walla, since, through agi- 
tating the question of transportation, the first organized effort was made to secure a 
railroad to be used as an outlet for the rapidly increasing products of the valley. The 
experiments made the year before in shipping flour were continued. Philip Ritz sent 
a consignment of fifty barrels to New York City, selling it there at $10, and clearing 
$1.55 per barrel. The cost of flour in Walla Walla was $3.75, and the transportation 
and commission amounted to $4.70 ; the flour was from the Phoenix Mills. This was 
allowing but a small price for it in Walla Walla, and corresponding encouragement for 
its exportation. The cost of shipping wheat to San Francisco was $28 per ton, and, at 
40 cents per bushel in Walla Walla, it would not pay for shipment, as it required $1.20 
per bushel in San Francisco to pay expenses. Of this expense, six dollars per ton, or 
seventeen cents per bushel, was the freight from Walla Walla to Wallula. The matter 
of a railroad between those two points began to occupy the attention of business men, 
and, finally, after much discussion and several public meetings, the Walla Walla and 
Columbia River Railroad Company was organized. Delegate Flanders secured the right 
of way from Congress, and permission for the county to subscribe $300,000, provided an 
election on the question should have a favorable result. Beyond this point no progress 
was made for several years, and development of the country was seriously retarded by 
reason of the lack of an outlet for its products. 


This year saw no change in the condition of the valley, save that it had no sur- 
plus grain or flour to export on account of a drouth, which had been universal on the 
coast. But a half a crop was harvested here, and wheat was worth 75 to 80 cents per 
bushel, while flour ranged from $5.50 to $6.00 per barrel. At those rates shipment 
down the Columbia was impracticable. The mines, however, furnished a market at these 
prices for all that the short yield could furnish, so that the total value of crops was 
about the same as the year before when wheat was worth but forty cents. 

The financial condition of the county had been bad for a number of years, a debt 
varying from $5,000 to $20,000 hanging over it constantly. The last board of county 
commissioners had gone resolutely to work to improve the condition of the treasury, 
and demand a more thorough discharge of their duties by the various officers; and had 
so far succeeded, that on the first of May, 1869, the obligations of the county amounted 
to $9,569.13, while there were $9,209.18 of cash on hand. One of the obstacles to such 
a result was the fact that in November, 1868, Sheriff Seitel had resigned while he was 
indebted to the county, according to the report of the board, in the sum of $3,373.82 
for delinquent taxes collected. 

A thunder storm of tropical fierceness is recorded as raging for an hour on the 
morning of Monday, June 14, 1869, during which lightning struck several houses in 
the valley and severely shocked a number of people. It was by far the most severe 
that had ever been experienced here by white inhabitants. 



The town of Waitsburg began in 1869 to aspire to the official dignity of becom- 
ing a county seat, with all the importance and commercial advantages supposed to ac- 
company a seat of justice. Walla Walla county included the territory south of Snake 
river, now forming Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield counties, and covered an area of 
3420 square miles. That this was a large county, and, had it been extensively settled, 
an unwieldy one, there was no doubt. The seat of justice was in one corner far from 
the geographical center, though located in the midst'of the most thickly settled dis- 
trict. Waitsburg, at that time had a grist mill, saw mill, hotel, several stores and a 
good school. It was both enterprising and ambitious ; and, having no paper of its 
own, ventilated its opinions in the Walla Walla journals. Had the upper position of 
the county been settled as it was a few years later, a division would have been desirable, 
but even in that event, Waitsburg was too near Walla Walla to become an acceptable 
county seat, being necessarily located in the extreme corner of the proposed county. 
That this was true and that it would be but a few years before the seat of justice would 
be moved to another place in a more central location, were facts recognized by many 
of the business men of that village, nevertheless a petition was signed by 150 residents 
and was presented to the Legislature in October, 1869, a delegation of citizens of the 
aspiring town accompanying it to Olympia. The county was to be divided so that 
about one-half the area and one-third the population and assessment valuation would 
be segregated. The fact that Waitsburg was not a natural center together with the ad- 
ditional facts that no other existing town was, and the upper portion of the county 
was not thickly enough settled to demand a separate government, caused the legislature 
to decline to take any action in the matter. Waitsburg's dream of official honors was 
over, and the springing up of Dayton a few years later served to convince them that 
had they been conferred they would have been of a transitory character. 


The delegates sent by the Democrats to the territorial convention were instructed 
to secure the nomination for Delegate to Congress of a man from the east side of the 
mountains. F. P. Dugan, J. D. Mix, B. L. Sharpstein, and W. H. Newell, from 
Walla Walla, were balloted for in the convention, but the nomination was secured by 
Marshall F. Moore, ex-Governor of the territory. Before the Republican convention 
were the names of D. S. Baker and Anderson Cox, of this county. The nomination 
was given to Selucius Garfielde, surveyor general of the territory, and there was dis- 
sention in the Republican ranks because of this nomination. Governor Flanders and 
a number of office holders, many of whom wrote ex before their official titles, were dis- 
pleased with the nomination of Mr. Garfielde. The disaffected ones issued a circular 
to the " Downfallen Republican Party," which bore fifty signatures, among them being 
those of Governor Flanders, Chief Justice Dennison, A. A. Denny, Marshall Blinn, 
E. Marsh, C. C. Hewitt, D. R. Lord, and Fred Wilson, all residents of the Sound. In 
this they declared that, " The party as it ought to be in this territory has ceased to 
exist." They called for a complete reorganization, claimed that the nomination of 



Mr. Garfielde was secured by fraud, and charged that he was formerly a Democrat. 
This circular provoked many resolutions of protest from mass-meetings all over the 
territory, as well as an address, signed by twenty-one Republican members of the 
legislature, in which the movement was characterized as an effort by sorehead office 
holders to obtain control of the party. The bolters did not put up a ticket of their 
own, and after a spirited canvass Mr. Garfielde was elected by a majority of 132. 

In the county election the disturbing Vigilance question that so confused affairs 
in 1867 having been disposed of, the Democrats elected their whole ticket by an aver- 
age majority of 300. The legislature had, in 1868, increased the representation of 
Walla Walla county in the lower house to six members, and that number was conse- 
quently elected this year. 


Office. Name. Politics. 

Delegate Marshall F. Moore . . . 

Delegate Selucius Garfielde 1 . . Rep 

Prosecuting Attorney . .A. J. Cain Dem 

Representative N. T. Caton Dem 

Representative Fred Stine Dem 

Representative H. D. O'Bryant Dem 

Representative J. D.J Mix ... Dem 

Representative J. H. Lasater Dem 

Representative Thomas P. Page Dem 

Probate Judge R. Guichard Dem 

Sheriff James McAuliff Dem 

Auditor H. M. Chase Dem 

Treasurer A. Kyger Dem 

Assessor M. C. McBride ...... Dem 

Surveyor . . J. Arrison Dem 

School Superintendent. Wm. McMicken Dem 

Coroner L. H. Goodwin Dem 

County Commissioner. . W. T. Barnes Dem 

County Commissioner . . Daniel Stewart Dem 711 

County Commissioner. . C. C. Cram Dem 

For Constitutional Convention 24 — against 286 votes. 


No. Candidates. 

Total vote. 


2 ... 



2 ... 



1 ... 



12 . .. 


12 . . . 


12 ... 


12 ... 


12 . . . 


12 ... 


2 ... 



2 .. . 



2 . . . 



2 . . . 



2 ... 









2 . 



6 ... 


6 ... 


6 ... 


In 1870 there was but little happening within the county calling for special men- 
tion. The poor crop of the year before was not repeated, and the surplus of grain 
and flour for shipment was again large. Much of it was sent down the Columbia, 
though the expense was so great that the price here was kept very low. In August 
the city council deeded to the county commissioners the court-house square on Main 
street, which had been originally set aside for such purposes. The question of build- 
ing a court-house was being agitated at the time and the commissioners had very 
properly declined to spend money until the county had a clear title to the land ; but 
after receiving the deed the matter was indefinitely postponed by them. 

1 Elected. 





/. Htiu£ go-, S ;|| 



^ 'St,*. 


The census taken this year gave the following interesting statistics of Walla 
Walla county : 

Number of dwellings 1,149 

Number of families 1,150 

White male inhabitants 2,999 

White female inhabitants 2,11 1 

Colored male inhabitants Ill 

Colored female inhabitants 81 

Total population of county 5,102 

Average wages of farm hands, with board $ 35.00 

Average wages of laborers, without board 2.50 

Average wages of laborers, with board 1.50 

Average wages of carpenters 4.00 

Average wages of female domestics per week 7.00 

Average price of board for laborer per week 5.00 

Number of farms in county 654 

Acres of improved land 52,620 

Bushels of spring wheat 190,256 

Bushels of winter wheat 2,667 

Bushels of corn 25,487 

Bushels of oats 114,813 

Bushels of barley 21,654 

Pounds of butter 99,780 

Pounds of cheese 1,000 

Tons of hay 6,815 

Number of horses 5,650 

Number of mules 627 

Number of milch cows 4,772 

Number of work oxen 292 

Number of other cattle 8,046 

Number of sheep 5,745 

Number of hogs 4,768 

This is a most flattering exhibit by the county as the result of but ten years' 
growth, and taken in connection with the fact of no debt, gave the people real cause 
for congratulation. 

politics in 1870. 

Political elements that year were inharmonious and contentions were fiercer than 
ever on the question of a Congressional Delegate. Such of the disaffected ones as still 
held office were removed in January, 1870, by the President, as recommended by Mr. 
Garfielde, the wholesale decapitation serving but to intensify their opposition to that 
gentleman. By a change in the law it became necessary to elect a Delegate this year, 
and the defeated ones endeavored to prevent the return of Mr. Garfielde. The con- 
vention of 1869 had appointed as an executive committee Edward Eldridge, M. S. 
3 1 



Drew, L. Farnsworth, P. D. Moore, B. F. Stone, Henry Cock and J. D. Cook. In 
February a circular address was issued by S. D. Howe, C. C. Hewett, A. A. Manning, 
Ezra Meeker, G. A. Meigs, A. A. Denny and John E. Burns, claiming to be the ex- 
ecutive committee. The regular committee called a convention, which met in April 
and nominated Mr. Garfield. The bolters put forward Marshall Blinn, his name being 
presented by the self-appointed committee. They were not strong enough to hold a 
convention, but hoped to obtain sufficient votes for Blinn to defeat Garfielde. The 
Democrats nominated Judge J. D. Mix, one of the most prominent citizens of Walla 
Walla and well known throughout the territory. The campaign was carried on with 
considerable acrimony between the regular Republicans and the bolters. The latter 
had but small following among the people, but being men of political prominence, 
they were able through the press and by public speaking to keep themselves and their 
grievances prominently in view. The election brought out 6,357 votes, 1,300 
more than the year before. Garfielde secured a majority of 736 over Mix, and the fact 
that the total vote for Blinn was but 155 amply demonstrated what had always been 
claimed by the Republicans, that the bolting movement was confined to a few who were 
in position to make a noise only. The question of holding a constitutional convention 
was also voted upon, and the proposition defeated by a vote of 1,109 to 974. 

The county election held at the same time was a near earlier, than usual but was 
called for the same reason that an election was called for Delegate. The Democrats 
carried everything in the county, except school superintendent. 


Office. Name. Politics 

Delegate James D. Mix Dem 

Delegate Selucius Garfielde 1 . ..Rep 

Prosecuting Attorney. . . N. T. Caton 2 Dem , 

Councilman Daniel Stewart Dem 

Joint Councilman N. T. Bryant 2 Dem 

Representative David Ashpaugh Dem 

Representative John Scott Dem 

Representative James H. Lasater. . . .Dem 

Representative A. G. Lloyd Dem 

Representative Elisha Ping Dem. 

Representative T. W. Whetstone. . . .Dem. 

Probate Judge R. Guichard Dem. 

Sheriff James McAuliff Dem. 

Auditor.. . . H. M. Chase Dem. 

Treasurer A. Kyger Dem. 

Assessor A. C. Wellman .:.... Dem. 

Surveyor A. H. Gauinons 3 Dem. 

School Superintendent. .J. L. Reser Rep. . 

Coroner L. H. Goodwin Dem. 

County Commissioner. . C. C. Cram Dem. 

County Commissioner. .F. Louden Dem. 

County Commissioner. . I. T. Reese Dem. 


No. Candidates. 

Total vote. 

527 . 



833 . 



712 . 



705 . 



706 . 



12 . . . . 



679 . 

12 ... . 

683 . 


669 . 


694 . 



690 . 



703 . 






690 . 



698 . 



692 . 

2 .... 


696 . 



703 . 

6 ... . 


6 .. .. 

683 . 

6 .... 

1 Elected. 

2 Includes vote of Stevens and Yakima counties. 

3 Charles A. White was appointed May 1, 1871. 


When the election was over it was found that officers chosen the year before pro- 
posed holding on until the expiration of the full term of two years for which they were 
elected. A test case was decided in a contest by Prosecuting Attorney-elect N. T. Caton 
against A. J. Cain, the incumbent. A decision in favor of the latter was rendered in 
July, by James W. Kennedy, judge of the first district, in which it was held that officers 
elected in 1869 held until 1871, and that those chosen in 1870 must wait a year before 
taking their positions, thus reducing their official term to one year. 

Another memorial was forwarded to Congress in 1870 by the Legislature of Ore- 
gon, asking that such portion of Washington Terrritory as lay south of Snake river be 
annexed to Oregon. The people of the region most interested in such action were 
ignorant of the movement until the memorial was presented to Congress. The proposi- 
tion was distasteful to a majority of the people here, and their opinions were freely 
expressed. A bill was also introduced into Congress that session, to prepare for the 
admission of Washington and a portion of Idaho into the Union by permitting them 
to frame a constitution with that end in view; but neither of the measures being seriously 
considered by Congress were set aside for the time. 

, 1871 and 1872. 

The first year witnessed an earnest consideration of the question of transporta- 
tion. Some action was taken in the premises, though but little had been accomplished, 
when the Northern Pacific Railroad made a proposition to survey a route from 
Wallula to Walla Walla, if the citizens would subscribe $2,000 for expenses of the 
survey. If the N. P. Co. decided not to build then the plats and notes were to be 
turned over to the W. W. & C. R. R. R. Co. The money was raised, the survey 
made, and a report and estimate of cost presented to the latter road in May, the 
N. P. R. R. having decided not to run its line through Walla Walla. The county 
commissioners called an election for June 26, 1871, on a question of subscription in 
county bonds, under the Act of 1869, but the order for an election was revoked before 
the appointed day arrived, it having become evident that it would be a useless expense 
to hold it. They again called an election under the Act for September 18, 1871, 
which resulted adversely to the proposition. [See Transportation.] The railroad 
had progressed so far as a survey and report, which was at least an important step. 
Shipments of wheat were quite large, but the price paid to the farmer of this county 
was necessarily small. In March, 1872, the company commenced work at Wallula, 
and during the year graded several miles of the road. Several other railroad proposi- 
tions engaged the attention of the people, and a number of public gatherings were 
held. -A railroad from Walla Walla to La Grande was surveyed as far as Umatilla 
river, and then abondoned. - f 

The most important event in 1872 was the founding of the town of Dayton. The 
fall before S. M. Wait and William Matzger had begun the erection of a large flouring 
mill on the Touchet near the mouth of the Patit, and in the s])ring a town began to 
grow up with such rapidity that by fall it contained several stores, a hotel, flour mill, 
saw-mill, and five hundred people. The burglary of the county safe in April, 1872, 
is recited in the criminal annals of the county. 



The political future of Eastern Washington received much attention in the news- 
papers and private discussion in 1872. Several suggestions were brought out, each of 
which was favorably considered. The old idea of annextion to Oregon had gained 
much strength in the past two years, and a petition was circulated in the fall asking 
Congress to make Walla Walla county a part of that State; but the advocates of this 
proposition were in the minority. Another idea, which had but few advocates, was 
the creation of a new territory of that portion of Washington and Oregon lying east 
of the Cascades. A third was the erection of a new territory comprising all of Wash- 
ington east of the Columbia, and all of Idaho north of Salmon river. Neither of 
these territorial schemes had many supporters, because they not only would prevent 
the admission of Washington for an indefinite period, but relegate both halves to a 
territorial condition for many years to come. The favorite measure was the addition 
of the three counties in northern Idaho, and the admission of the territory as a State. 
Any measure that involved the loss of the Walla Walla country to Washington was 
vehemently opposed by the people of the Sound. 

The Greeley coalition movement in 1872 penetrated even to this corner of the 
Republic. The Republicans again nominated Mr. Garfielde, while the Democrats 
and Liberals combined on O. B. McFadden, the Democratic candidate. The in- 
crease in the total vote was 1,444, and Mr. McFadden was elected by a majority 
of 709, nearly the amount of Mr. Garfielde's majority two years before. The ques- 
tion of holdiug a constitutional convention was again voted upon, and decieed in 
the negative. In the county election there were three candidates for some offices 
and four for that of auditor, and with the exception of one commissioner, Demo- 
crats were elected. The people were also called upon to express their opinion on 
the subject of building a new court-house and jail, and they decided in favor of such 
action by majority of 212. 


Office. Name Politics. Vote. No. Candidates. Total Vote. 

Delegate Selucius Garfielde .... Eep 

Delegate O. B. McFadden 1 .... Dem 

Prosecuting Attorney. . . T. J. Anders 2 Rep 

Councilman Fred Stine Dem 

Joint Councilman C. H. Montgomery 2 . . Dem 

Representative : . . .N. T. Caton Dem 

Representative O. P. Lacy Dem 

Representative E. Ping Rep 

Representative C. L. Bush Dem 

Representative Jonn Bryant ........ Dem 

Representative H. M. Hodgis Dem 

Probate Judge I. Hargrove Dem 

Sheriff B. W. Griffin Dem 

Auditor R. Jacobs Dem 

Treasurer R. R. Rees Dem 

Assessor Wm. F. Gwynn Dem 

Surveyor '. A. L. Knowlton 



. . . . 1555 


2 .... 

.... 1555 



.... 2136 





2 .... 

.... 1930 


12 .... 


12 .... 


12 .... 

826 .... 



12 .... 


12 .... 

678 .... 

. ... 3 .... 

.... 1518 




717 .... 

4 . .. 

. . . . 1439 



. . . . 1535 



. . . . 1525 

1530 .... 


. . . . 1530 


.. .. 2 .... 



2 .... 





776 . . . 

.... 6 


Office. Name. Politics. Vote. No. Candidates. Total Vote. 

School Superintendent .A.W. Sweeney Dem 

Coroner A. J. Thibodo Dem 

County Commissioner. . D. M. Jessee Dem 

County Commissioner. . W. P. Bruce Bep 

County Commissioner. .S. L. King 3 Dem 

For Court House and Jail 815 — against 603. 
For Constitutional Convention 57 — against 809. 

1873 and 1874. 

The railroad question remained the prominent one, and during these years so 
many projects were set on foot that concentration failed upon any one, although some 
of them were carried to a certain degree of completion. A number of mass-meetings 
were held to discuss the propositions of various companies, among which were the 
Seattle and Walla Walla, The Portland, Dalles and Salt Lake, Dayton and Columbia 
River, and a company for the improvement of navigation by a railroad and canal at 
the Dalles and Cascades. Considerable money was spent in surveying on these various 
lines, but the only actual work of construction was carried on by the Walla Walla & 
Columbia River R. R. Co., which reached the Touchet, a distance of fifteen miles from 
Wallula, in March, 1874, and soon began receiving grain for shipment. 

The vote on the question of building a court-house and jail was taken merely to 
obtain an expression of opinion by the tax payers. Though there was a large minor- 
ity vote the commissioners decided to obey the expressed will of the majority. They 
caused plans to be prepared, and in February, 1873, those by F. P. Allen were adopted 
for a brick court-house on a stone foundation. The design was for a main building, 
with an ell that would give ample accommodations to all the county officers, court and 
jury rooms, and in the basement a jail with twelve cells. There were two stories above 
the basement, and the whole was surmounted by a dome, making a structure of con- 
siderable beauty. Although the county now had a clear title to the court-house square 
on Main street, there were several parties who desired to enhance the value of their 
property in the outskirts of the city, and therefore offered to donate land to the county 
upon which to erect the new building. These offers were considered and rejected, and 
the court-house square selected as the building site. Two weeks later the commission- 
ers saw fit to rescind their former order and accept the offer of four blocks of land be- 
tween Second and Fourth streets, and one-fourth mile north of Main street, much to 
the displeasure of the citizens who desired the building erected on the court-house 
square, where it would not take a Sabbath day's journey to reach it. The next 
step by the board was to alter the plans and reduce the size of the building, take 
off the dome, and prune the structure of all its ornamental features, leaving it the ap- 
pearance of a huge barn. The last act, and under the circumstances the most judicious 
one, was a conclusion not to erect the building at all. 

The discovery of gold, in October, 1873, on the Swock, a tributary of the 

1 Elected. 

2 Includes vote of Stevens, Yakima, and AVhitman counties. 

3 Resigned May i, 1874; W. T. Barnes appointed to till vacancy May 7, 1874. 


Yakima river, caused quite a ripple of excitement and many visited the new mines, 
only to find that the diggings were not as extensive as reported. 

politics in 1874. 

The annexation of a portion of Idaho to Washington and the admission of the 
whole into the Union, was a universal topic for discussion in 1874. The people of this 
section favored it especially, because it would increase the strength of the country east 
of the Cascades, and enable them to demand and enforce rights that residents west of 
the mountains were inclined to ignore. The people on the Sound favored the annexa- 
tion, because the increase of population would aid in securing admission. The resi- 
dents of the interested section in Idaho were in favor of it, because it would enable 
them to become part of a State, and because, for geographical reasons, they were 
closely allied to Eastern Washington in business relations and had no community of 
interest with Southern Idaho, where the territorial government was located. Mass 
meetings were held in Walla Walla county and in Idaho, and memorials were pre- 
pared and forwarded to Congress. The question of holding a constitutional convention 
was again submitted to the people and decided adversely. The general opinion 
was that it was premature, and that the first step was to obtain authority from Con- 
gress for a combination with the three counties of Idaho in the framing of a funda- 
mental law. But 260 votes were cast on the j)roposition in this county, and only 24 of 
those were in favor of holding a convention. 

The candidates for Delegate to Congress were selected, the one from the east and 
the other from the west side of the mountains. The Republicans nominated Orange 
Jacobs, while the Democrats presented the name of B. L. Sharpstein, a prominent citi- 
zen of Walla Walla. Judge Jacobs was elected by a majority of 1,260, the increase 
in the total vote and the Republican majority being nearly equal. Local politics 
were complicated by the Independent or Grange movement, which swept over the 
whole country from ocean to ocean in 1874, achieving success in many localities. 
Three tickets were in the field, and three candidates appeared for nearly all the offices : 
R. Guichard for probate judge and A. L. Knowlton for surveyor had no opposition, 
while for sheriff, there were four contestants. Despite these complications the Demo- 
crats were successful in the offices, purely local, while the Republicans secured a few 
members of the Legislature and prosecuting attorney. 


Office. Name. Politics. Vote. No. Candidates. Total vote. 

Delegate B. L. Sharpstein Dem 923 2 1549 

Delegate Orange Jacobs 1 Rep 626 2 1549 

Prosecuting Attorney . . T. J. Anders 2 Rep 1388 2 2234 

Councilman E. Ping Dem 572 3 1503 

Joint Councilman W. W. Boon 2 Rep 1041 2 1919 

Representative R. Gr. Newland Rep 865 17 

Representative J. B. Shrum 730 17 

Representative P. M. Lynch Dem 672 17 




No. Candidates. 

Total vote. 





17 ... 

......... 17 ... 

17 ... 

... 1 ... 



4 .. . 



3 ... 

2 ... 




3 ... 



1 ... 



2 ... 

2 .. . 



7 ... 


7 ... 


7 ... 


Office. Name. Politics. 

Representative John Scott Dem 

Representative H. M. Hodgis Dem 

Representative A. G. Lloyd Dem 

Probate Judge R. Gruichard Dem 

Sheriff George F. Thomas . . . Dem 

Auditor R. Jacobs . Dem 

Treasurer R. R. Rees Dem 

Assessor Samuel Jacobs Dem 

Surveyor A. L. Knowlton 3 .... Dem 

School Superintendent.. A. W. Sweeney Dem. ..... 

Coroner A. J. Thibodo 4 Dem 

County Commissioner. . .Charles White 5 Dem 

County Commissioner . . C. S. Brush Dem 

County Commissioner . . C. C. Cram Dem 

For Constitutional convention. 24; against, 236. 


This year witnessed the completion of the W. W. & C. R. R. from Wallula to 
Walla Walla, a project that had been pushed ahead slowly by private capital. To aid 
in the completion of the road the citizens subscribed $26,478, and in October had the 
satisfaction of seeing shipments from Walla Walla of grain by rail inaugurated. Other 
railroad propositions were canvassed by the peoj)le. Dayton and Waitsburg held mass- 
meetings to consider the question of a road from those towns to Walla Walla, while 
the P. D. & St. L. Co. and the Columbia River Improvement Company's schemes, 
alternately raised the people to a high pinnacle of expectancy and then dashed them 
down again. A telegraph line from Walla Walla to Baker City was one of the im- 
provements made in the fall of 1875. 


A sad accident occurred January 21, 1875, which is worthy of note by reason of 
its peculiarity. That morning a man named Tate left his home, at the base of the 
mountains, eleven miles east of Walla Walla, and upon his return in the evening he 
found it demolished by a snow-slide. His wife and two children had been killed, 
while the baby was found unharmed laying peacefully slumbering in the only part of 
the building that had escaped destruction. The house consisted of a main building 
and shed. From the evidences it appeared the mother and two children were in the 
main building when the avalanch come, the baby being asleep at the time in the shed 
used for a bed-room. With resistless force the snow swept away and buried the main 
structure, leaving the baby's bed-room uninjured. The mother had extricated herself, 
and then digging the children out, had laid them in the shed. The girl's neck had 
been broken, which evidently had killed her instantly ; and the mother had laid her 

1 Elected. 

2 Includes vote of Stevens. Yakima and Whitman counties. 

3 Resigned November 3, 1875; P. Zahner appointed same day. 

4 Resigned November 2,1874; O. P. Lacy appointed November 20, 1874; resigned November 3, 1875! V. D. Lambert ap- 


5 Resigned November 3, 1875; Frank Louden appointed February 9, 1876. 


on her back with her little hands crossed over her breast. The boy was found lying 
on his face near his sister, with his back and one leg broken, and must have been still 
alive when taken from the ruins by his mother. The poor woman had her jaw and 
one arm shattered, besides suffering internal injuries, and yet she had struggled des- 
perately to save her children. She had started for help, but the snow was so deep and 
she so faint from her injuries, that she was compelled to abandon the attempt. Her 
efforts to return to her children had been unavailing, and she had sunk exhausted in 
the snow and died. This was the sad greeting that met the father and husband upon 
his return to the house that he had left that morning so unconscious of the pending 
calamity that hung suspended like the sword of Damocles over the lives of those so 
dear to him. 


The effort made by Waitsburg in 1869, was repeated in 1875 with more success 
by the people of Dayton. Settlement had steadily progressed in the upper end of the 
county during those half dozen years. The high bench lands were found to be very 
valuable for agricultural purposes, and hundreds of families had made their homes upon 
them. The town of Dayton had sprung up at the junction of the Touchet and Patit, 
and become a place of considerable commercial importance. It was far enough from 
Walla Walla to be relieved from the disadvantage Waitsbtrg had struggled with in its 
efforts to become a county seat. The reader is referred to the history of Columbia 
county for an account of its formation by the division of Walla Walla county, under 
the act of November 11, 1875. 


The centennial year found Walla Walla in a highly prosperous condition, not- 
withstanding the loss of nearly two-thirds of its territory. The assessed valuation in 
1875 was $2,792,065, while in 1876 the property that was 1-rft in the county after the 
division, was assessed at $2,296,870. There were reported 239 mules, 5,281 horses, 
11,147 cattle, 13,233 sheep, 4,000 hogs, 1,774 acres of timothy, 700 of corn, 2,600 of 
oats, 6,000 of barley, 21,000 of wheat, and 700 of fruit trees. The W. W. & C. E. R 
was carrying wheat and the product of six flouring mills from the county, and 
signs of prosperity were visible on every hand. The county treasury contained 
$5,271.61 on the first of May, while only $2,816.56 were due on outstanding warrants. 
The commissioners raised the roof of the court-house on Alder street five feet, and 
built a two-story addition 20x24 feet. They also constructed three brick vaults for 
the preservation of the county records. 


The county division in the fall of 1875, accomplished by the votes of mem- 
bers of the Legislature living west of the mountains, created much dissatisfaction in 
Walla Walla and Waitsburg. They wanted to sever all political connection with the 
people of the Sound, who, they claimed, cared nothing for Eastern Washington beyond 


the amount of tax that could be raised here. It was suddenly discovered that annex- 
ation to Oregon would cure all ills, both financial and political, that the country was 
supposed to be afflicted with. Newspapers which had before strenuously opposed such 
a step now advocated it warmly. Feeling and language on the subject were both 
strong. The Idaho people protested in vain that such a measure left them entirely 
unprovided for, and were told that Walla Walla proposed to look to its own interests 
first and those of its neighbors' afterwards ; that they had become convinced that 
it would be many years before Washington could be admitted, even with a portion of 
Idaho added, and they proposed to have the advantages of a State government at once 
by joining themselves to Oregon. The people of the Sound strongly objected to losing 
any teritory, as it would prevent admission into the Union for a long time to come, 
but they were informed that this region had been used by them simply as a source of 
revenue long enough, and if annexation to Oregon could be secured it would be had 
whether the Sound liked it or not. 

Senator James K. Kelly of Oregon introduced a bill in the Senate, providing for a 
submission to the voters of Walla Walla and Columbia counties of the question of their 
annexation to Oregon, thus including all south of Snake river. The -citizens of Dayton 
who had been pleased by the division of the county, and whose feathers had not been 
ruffled, did not join in this sudden cry for separation. They could see no reason for 
it that had not existed before, and in fact not so much, in view of the rapid settlement 
of the country which would soon secure admission to the Union on the old plan. 
They therefore sent a memorial to Congress, objecting to the bill introduced by Senator 
Kelly. Walla Walla then bestirred itself, held a mass meeting, and also sent a memorial 
to Congress. Kelly's bill for a special election failed to pass. Representative Lane of 
Oregon, introduced a bill to achieve the same end, the question to be voted upon at the 
November election. This was reported upon favorably by the Committee on Territo- 
ries, but did not pass the House. Disappointed in this, and having had time to cool 
off a little, the people of Walla Walla county concluded to get back into the traces, 
and pull with the balance of the Territory for sj>eedy admission as a State. 

Judge Jacobs was again the Republican candidate for Congress in 1876, while 
the Demecratic nominee was John P. Judson. The election was very close, resulting 
in the choice of Mr. Jacobs by a majority of only 242 in a total vote of 9,904, an in- 
crease of 1,700 on the vote of 1874. The question of holding a constitutional con- 
vention was again submitted to the people at this election, and the discussion in the 
spring had so aroused them on the subject that 7,328 votes were cast, 5,698 in favor of 
the convention, and 1,530 in opposition. This was the first time any considerable 
number of votes were cast on the subject. The county election was a straight contest 
between the parties, and was a complete victory for the Democrats, except for the office 
of surveyor, where there was no contest. 


Office. Name. Politics 

Delegate John P. Judson Dem 

Delegate Orange Jacobs 1 Rep 

Prosecuting Attorney. . T. J. Anders 2 Eep 


L . 545 


2 ... 

Total vote. 


2 .. 



.... 2 ... 

.... 2450 


Office. Name. Politics. Vote. No. Candidates. Total vote. 

Councilman . j Daniel Stewart Dem 519 2 913 

Eepresentative W. T. Barnes Dem 554 8 

Eepresentative Win. Martin Dem 533 8 

Representative A. J. Gregory Dem 483 8 

Representative H. A. Vansyckle Dem 434 8 

Probate Judge R. Guichard Dem 585 2 926 

Sheriff George F. Thomas. ..Dem 622 2 920 

Auditor Thomas P . Page Dem 482 3 928 

Treasurer Wm. O'Donnell Dem 591 2 927 

Assessor Samuel Jacobs Dem 535 2 913 

Surveyor P. Zahner Rep 442 1 442 

School Superintendent . A. W. Sweeney 3 Dem 546 2 911 

Coroner L. H. Goodwin Dem 518 2 911 

County Commissioner. . D J. Storms Dem 528 6 

County Commissioner . . Jas. Braden Dem 522 6 

County Commissioner . . Dion Keef e Dem 513 6 

For Constitutional Convention 85 — against 292 votes. 

1877 and 1878. 

During these two years the financial condition of the county was excellent. The 
report of the year ending April 30, 1877, showed the receipts to have been $46,657.11, 
and the expenditures $43,797.99. The cash on hand was $8,130.73, while but $746.- 
55 were due on county warrants. A population of 5,056 and 901 dwellings were re- 
ported by the assessor. The report in 1878 showed $46,800.43 receipts, $33,436.07 
expenditures, $21,468.09 cash on hand, and $894.80 outstanding warrants. 

The usual number of railroad schemes engaged the attention of the people, the 
most prominent of which was the Seattle and Walla Walla road, which sought to ob- 
tain county subsidies. A survey of a canal at the Cascades was made in the spring of 
1877, an appropriation having been made by the government. The W. W. & C. R. 
R. R. Co. also snrveyed an extention in the fall, from Whitman Junction to Weston. 
In the summer of 1878 the N. P. R. R. Co. surveyed a route across the Cascade moun- 
tains, and government work on the canal at the Cascades was begun, all of which pro- 
jects had their effect in developing the WallaWalla country, and were topics of absorb- 
ing interest to the people. The great advance already made in the shipment of pro- 
ducts from this region, is clearly shown by the amount of freight handled by the rail- 
road in Walla Walla in the year 1877. There was 8,000 tons received, of which 3,500 
were agricultural implements. There were forwarded 19,884 tons of wheat, 4,653 of 
flour, 917 of oats and barley, 326 of flaxseed, 81 of wool, 172 of bacon and lard, and 
280 of miscellaneous freight, making a total of 26,313 tons sent out of the country 
tributary to Walla Walla. The people of Dayton and vicinity, as well as those further 
east, shipped by the way of Snake river. 


During the session of Congress in 1877-8, Delegate Jacobs urged the passage of 

L Elected. 

2 Includes vote of Columbia, Whitman, Stevens and Yakima Counties. 

3 Besigned May 7, 1877; L. K. Grim appointed same day. 


a bill admitting Washington as a State, including the three northern counties of 
Idaho. He urged the matter with great persistence, showing that the people were 
about to frame a constitution and were strong enough to support a State Government. 
At the same time Senator Mitchell of Oregon, was urging upon Congress the old an- 
nexation scheme, and presented another memorial on the subject. The Walla Walla 
Union still declared in favor of Oregon, and asserted that a majority of the people 
here were favorable to the measure, but Congress took no action in the premises. 

Meanwhile the work of framing a constitution was proceeed with. In November, 

1877, the Legislature passed a bill providing for a special election to be held April 9, 

1878, to choose delegates to a constitutional convention to meet in Walla Walla the 
second Tuesday in June. The convention was to be composed of fifteen delegates 
from Washington and one from Idaho, the latter having no vote. The election brought 
out a vote of 4,223, about half the popular vote of the Territory. The members of 
the convention were: 

Name. Residence. Represented. 

W. A. George Walla Walla At large. 

Edward Eldridge Whatcomb At large. 

S. M. Gilmore Klikitat At large. 

S. M. Wait Columbia First Judicial District. 

B. F. Dennison Second Judicial District. 

C. H. Larrabee Third Judicial District. 

C. M. Bradshaw Jefferson Clallam, Island, Jefferson and San Juan. 

Henry B. Emery Kitsap Kitsap, Snohomish and Whatcomb. 

L. B. Andrews King King. 

D. B. Hannah Pierce Pierce, Chehalis and Mason. 

Frank Henry Thurston Thurston and Lewis. 

A. S. Abernethy Cowlitz Cowlitz, Pacific and Wahkiakum. 

G. H. Steward Clark Clark, Skamania, Klikitat and Yakima. 

O. P. Lacy Walla Walla Walla Walla. 

J. V. O'Dell Whitman Columbia, Whitman and Stevens. 

Alonzo Leland Nez Perce Idaho. 

The delegates assembled at Science Hall in Walla Walla at twelve o'clock on 
Tuesday, June 11, 1878, and were called to order by W. A. George. The convention 
organized temporarily by electing A. S. Abernethy president. After a report of the 
committee on credentials, the convention was permanently organized with Mr. Aber- 
nethy as president, W. B. Daniels and William Clark, secretaries, and Henry D. Cock, 
sergeant-at-arms. After a session of forty days the convention adjourned, having 
framed a constitution to be submitted to the people for ratification or rejection at the 
next general election. The vote on this issue fell 3,000 short of that cast for Delegate, 
being 6,462 for, and 3,231 against, in a total of 9,693. Not much enthusiasm was felt on 
the subject, and many refrained from voting because they thought the adoption of a 
constitution was premature and would accomplish nothing. 

The candidates presented for the position of Congressional Delegate that fall were 
both well known lawyers of Walla Walla. Thomas H. Brents was the nominee of the 
Republican party, and N. T. Caton was selected by the Democrats. The vote cast was 
12,647, nearly 3,000 greater than at the previous election, a majority of 1,301 being 
given for Mr. Brents. His majority in this county was 146, the first time a majority 
had been given here for a Republican candidate for Congress. 



With exception of the offices of surveyor and probate judge, the county election 
was a square issue between the two parties. The result was a division of the offices, 
and it was the first time that the Republicans had been able to break the Democratic 
hold upon the county without a side issue to assist them. 




Delegate Thomas H. Brents 1 

. .Rep . . 

Delegate N. T. Caton Dem 

Prosecuting Attorney. . . R. F. Sturdevant- .... 

Councilman J. H. Day Rep. . 

Representative John A. Taylor Rep . . 

Representative D. J. Storms Dem. 

Representative J, M. Dewar Rep . . 

Representative Mark F. Colt Rep . . 

Probate Judge R. Ouichard Dem . 

Sheriff J. B. Thompsou Dem . 

Auditor W. C. Painter Rep . . 

Treasurer J. F. Boyer Rep . . 

Assessor Samuel Jacobs Dem . 

Surveyor P. Zahner 3 Rep . 

School Superintendent .C. W. Wheeler Rep . 

Coroner J. M. Boyd Dem . 

County Commissioner. .M. B. Ward Rep . . 

County Commissioner . . Amos Cummings 

County Commissioner. .Samuel H. Erwin. ... 

For Constitution, 89; against, 847. 

For Sep. Art. 1, 62; against, 807. 

For Sep. Art. 2, 57; against, 806. 

For Sep. Art. 3, 111; against, 758. 


No. Candidates. Total vote. 
2 1 22fi 



. .. 1226 



. . . 3351 


2 .... 

. . . 1147 






8 ..... 


8 .... 

2 ...... 










. . 1187 



. . 1186 





2 .... 

. . 1184 



. . 1110 


6 ..... 




6 ...!'.. 

1879 and 1880. 

The sale of the W. W. & C. E. R. R. to the O. R. & K Co., and the change to a 
broadgauge, were the new features presented by the transportation question during the 
years 1879 and 1880. The increase of facilities for handling, freight was of great ad- 
vantage to this country, and the magnitude of the new company gave assurance of 
greater improvements in the future, tending to infuse new life and vigor into busi- 
ness and stimulate manufacturers and producers to an activity, never before displayed 
bacause of a low market and scarcity of shipping accommodations. 

A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Delegate Brents, for the 
admission of Washington into the Union, and pressed for a consideration with much 
vigor, but to no purpose. All efforts to secure a favorable consideration were futile, 
and the matter was deferred till the next Congress. Mr. Brents was again nominated 
iu 1880 by the Republicans, while the name of Thomas Burke was presented by the 
Democrats. Mr. Brents was elected; and even in Walla Walla county he received a 

1 Elected. 

2 Includes vote of Columbia and Whitman counties. 

3 Resigned Feb ruary 3, 1880, F. F. Loeher appointed, 


majority of 118 votes. The county officers were again divided between the two par- 
ties. The question of levying a tax for the purpose of building a good court-house and 
jail was also voted upon, and received the almost unanimous endorsement of the 


Office Name. Politics. 

Delegate Thomas H. Brents 1 . . Kep 

Delegate Thomas Burke Dem 

Board of Equalization. .T. C. Frary Rep ... . 

Councilman B. L. Sharpstein Dem .... 

Joint Councilman Jacob Hoover 2 Dem .... 

Representative R. R. Rees Dem .... 

Representative W. G. Preston Rep 

Joint Representative ... J. M. Cornwell 3 Rep 

Probate Judge R. Guichard Dem .... 

Prosecuting .Attorney 4 ..George T. Thompson.. Rep 

Sheriff James B. Thompson . . Dem .... 

Auditor W. C. Painter Rep 

Treasurer .J. F. Boyer Rep 

Assessor Samuel Jacobs Dem .... 

Surveyor Francis F. Loehr .... Rep 


No. Candidates. 
2 ... 

Total vote. 
. . . ; . 1868 


2 ... 



2 ... 

..... ' 1850 


2 . .. 



2 .. 



4 ... 


4 ... 





1 ... 









2 .. . 



1 .. 

...... 922 





2 ... 



2 ... 



2 ... 



6 ... 


6 ... 



6 .., 

2 .., 


Coroner Dr. H. G. Mauzey . . . Dem .... 

County Commissioner . .M. B. Ward Rep 

County Commissioner . .Amos Cummings .... 

County Commissioner . . S. H. Erwin .... 

Sheep Commissioner . . . Asa L. LeGrow .... 

For Court-house Tax, 1468; against, 158. 

For Fence Law, 1218; against, 343. 

1881 and 1882. 

The faith entertained in the enterprise and ability of the O. R. & N. Co. were 
shown to have been well grounded during the past two years. The extension of the 
road through Waitsburg to Dayton, the construction of the line to Texas Ferry, the 
extension from Whitman Junction towards Weston, all made during the past two 
years, have developed the country, filled it with settlers, given it a reputation abroad, 
and in every way been of vast profit and advantage to settlers of the Walla Walla 
region. The still farther extension of these lines and the building of new ones, as yet 
only projected, will progress rapidly in the future, and assume a permanent prosperity, 
such as has been longed for and believed in for years, but until the advent of the 
O. R. & N. Co. never thought to be so near at hand. The narrow gauge road up Mill 
and Dry creeks, built by Dr. D. S. Baker, is also aiding in the work of developing 
the great resources of the country. The extension of the O. R. & N. Co.'s line down 
the Columbia river, giving direct railroad connection with Portland, is also one of the 

1 Elected. 

2 Includes vote of Whitman and Columbia counties. 

3 Includes vote of Whitman county. 

4 Became a county office. 


improvements that has been gradually progressing for more than two years. The 
same is true of the N. P. R. R. Co.'s line running east to meet the extension from that 
direction. When these are in full running condition, and especially when the line 
across the Cascades shall have been completed and the direct connection between Walla 
Walla and the Sound established, there will be but little left to be desired in the 
matter of an outlet for the products of this region. Then the traveler will look in 
vain for a country where more beautiful, strange, unique, grand, or sublime scenery 
may be found ; where pleasanter homes or more prosperous people and communities 
are to be met with, under the broad folds of our American flag. 

The question of admission of Washington Territory has become more prominent 
in Congress in the past two years than ever before. Beyond the favorable report of 
the committee and the efforts of Mr. Brents to have it taken up for action, the bill has 
not progressed, but the chances for a favorable action by the next Congress are bright 
and encouraging. Mr. Brents has again been nominated by the Republicans, and if 
elected will press the matter vigorously. The rapid increase in the wealth, population, 
industries, and resources of the Territory, and especially its development by the lines 
of railroad under construction, are placing it before the country in so favorable a light, 
that it seems impossible to keep this Territory much longer without the circle of the 
great sisterhood. 



The question of transportation has been an absorbing one for years, and the want 
of suitable facilities for conveying the produce of Eastern Oregon and Washington to 
the sea coast, has done more than all other causes combined, to retard the development 
of that country. The great Columbia river with its tributaries are Nature's outlets to 
the vast region lying between the Rocky and Cascade mountains ; but, the same hand 
placing them there, also put in their channels barriers to their uninterrupted or profit- 
able use as transportation highways. The most important obstructions are the two 
rocky and turbulent series of rapids-, known as the Dalles and Cascades, where the 
Columbia cuts its way through the mountains. Because of these, to utilize that 
stream as a carrying outlet, it is necessary to combine land with water transportation, 
and such will continue to be the case, until canals with locks have been constructed 
around those barriers to uninterrupted navigation. To now form a continuous freight 
line upon the Columbia river from the interior to tide-water, it is necessary to use a 


steamer to the Cascades, a portage there, another steamer to the Dalles, a second 
portage at that point, and a third steamer to run on the upper river. Other obstruc- 
tions consist of rocks and rapids in the channel of the upper Columbia and its various 

From the time the Pacific Fur Company established a post at Astoria in 1811, the 
Columbia river has been used as a highway of travel and commerce. The voyageurs 
of the powerful Hudson's Bay Company, in their annual journey to Montreal ascended 
this stream, and down it came boatloads of furs from the posts and brigades of trap- 
pers in the interior. Many accidents and frequent losses of life have occurred at 
these rapids, through which boats often passed down, to avoid the trouble of making a 
portage. When the early emigrants began to arrive, they crossed the Blue mountains 
and reached the Columbia in the vicinity of Wallula and the Umatilla, and the river 
was then used to convey at least a portion of their effects to the Willamette valley. 
Thousands entered Oregon by this route. 

In 1852 Bradford Brothers built a wooden tramway at the Cascade portage, to 
facilitate the transportation of goods from boat to boat. There was then considerable 
trade between Portland and Vancouver, and the settlements at the Cascades and Dalles, 
especially after a military post was established at the latter point. The wooden road 
was on the north side of the river, and was only a mile and one-third in length, run- 
ning from the middle to the upper Cascades. It was then the custom to take goods 
over the lower rapids in large batteaus, propelled by sails, and Capt. J. C. Ainsworth 
was the first to accomplish this feat. The Mary and one or two other boats were on 
the river between the Cascades and Dalles. 

The discovery of the Colville mines in March, 1855, increased travel and freight 
on the river, the Dalles being generally used as a final starting point. Following this 
came the Indian war of 1855-6, which increased the amount of freight going up the 
river. J. S. Ruckle was United States commissary and responsible for furnishing 
supplies to the troops. The Bradfords would not carry them and take government 
vouchers for pay, and Ruckle was compelled to put on mule teams to haul his goods 
around the Cascades on the Oregon side. From the Dalles supplies were taken to 
troops in the field by wagons and pack animals ; and at the close of this war, military 
posts established in the upper country, continued to require a large quantity of supplies. 
The trade to the mines, with settlers in the new country, and with immigrants, was 
also great. Ruckle, remembering the trouble that the Bradford Brothers had put him 
to, resolved to start an opposition portage at the Cascades. He began securing the 
right of way for such purpose on the Oregon side, and associated himself with Harry 
Olmstead, as the Oregon Transportation Line. In the spring of 1858, J. W. Brazee 
was employed by them to locate a line for the road, and in the fall he began its con- 
struction. It was five miles in length, the rails being of wood faced with strap-iron ; 
and horses or mules were used as the motive power. There were now two wooden rail- 
roads at the Cascades — the new one on the Oregon side five miles long, and the Brad- 
ford short line on the Washington side. 

Up to this time no steamers had been placed on the river above the Dalles ; but in 
1858 R. R. Thompson and L.W.Coe built the Venture at the Dalles, intending to haul 
it above the rapid«, but when completed it floated over the Cascades. The damage was 


repaired and the vessel was put on the Frazer river trade, and made a small fortune for 
its owners. In 1859 they huiltthe Colonel Wright, and placed it as the pioneer boat on 
the upper Columbia. During the next two years trade and travel to the interior in- 
creased rapidly. Settlers began to pour into the country east of the Cascades, and 
several stores were opened in Walla Walla, requiring large quantities of goods. 

In 1860 the Oregon Transportation Line purchased a pony-engine to run on its 
road, and for the first time since their heads were lifted from the sea, those lofty hills 
of the Columbia echoed the shriek of a locomotive. The legislative act of December 
19, 1860, created the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, " for the purpose of navi- 
gation and transportation in the State of Oregon and Washington Territory." The 
incorporators were J. C. Ainsworth, Daniel F. Bradford, K. E. Thompson, and J. S. 
Buckle. Soon after this news was received of the discovery of gold on Oro Fino 
creek, and other tributaries of Snake river. This news carried abroad brought, in 
1861, such a cloud of miners and freight, that the transportation companies were over- 
whelmed with traffic. The O. S. N. Co. was completely reorganized, absorbing the 
Oregon Transportation Line and receiving additional capital. The chief stockholders 
were J. C. Ainsworth, B. B. Thompson, L. W. Coe, D. F. Bradford, Ladd & Tilton, 
J. S. Buckle, Harry Olmstead, and S. G. Beed. They at once put boats on the river 
as fast as they could buy or make them, J. W. Brazee being their superintendent of 
construction. In 1862 the company began building iron railroads around the Cascades 
and Dalles, on lines surveyed by Mr. Brazee. 

A line of mail and passenger stages to run between the Dalles and Walla Walla 
was placed on the road by Miller & Blaekmore, Walla Walla being the final starting 
point for the mines. Large quantities of freight were forwarded from the Dalles to this 
place in wagons and by water. The unloading point for boats on the river was Wal- 
lula, at the site of the ancient Fort, and all river freight for the upper country stopped 
there and was taken to, or through, Walla Walla by teamsters and packers. Stages 
were put on between those points in April, 1862, by Bickey & Thatcher, but were un- 
able to accommodate the travel ; hundreds who could not obtain a seat, or were 
unwilling to pay the exorbitant fare, traveled on foot or with saddle horses as the cus- 
tom had been before. 

From Walla Walla to Lewiston, Florence, and all towns that sprung up in and near 
the new mines, passengers went on foot or horseback, cayuse ponies demanding a price 
in the market never reached before nor since ; while pack animals were used to convey 
mining outfits and supplies of all kinds. Express lines were established between the 
various localities by many small firms, the largest of which, Tracy & Co., was suc- 
ceeded in the spring of 1862 by Wells, Fargo & Co., whose first agent in Walla Walla 
was Ned James. Gradually this great express company established offices in all the 
more important localities, and eventually obtained complete control in their line of 
business. Numerous unimportant localities in the mines were reached by them 
through other express routes, of which a score existed, that were constantly changing 
ownership. The first effort to navigate Snake river with steamers, was made by the 
O. S. N. Co. in April, 1862. They dispatched the Tenino from the mouth of De 
Chutes river, loaded with merchandise for Lewiston. She only reached a point about 
eight miles above Wallula, because of low water, but the company did not abandon 


the undertaking with one trial. It was of great advantage to them to carry passengers 
and freight through to that place, instead of disembarking at Wallula, and a second 
trial that month resulted in the vessel's reaching Lewiston, where it was received as 
the harbinger of their hopes. The freight and travel thus diverted from Walla Walla 
to her detriment were of corresponding benefit to the company and Lewiston. 

Blackmore & Chase in April, 1862, put on the first stages between Wallula and 
Lewiston that ran through Walla Walla, and in May Rickey & Fletcher started an 
opposition line, Abbott & Miller putting on the third in September. 

In 1862, Lieut. John Mullan constructed a government road from Fort Benton to 
Walla Walla that received his name. 


The subject of a railroad from Walla Walla to the Columbia received much atten- 
tion in 1861, because of the advantage to that place in its competition with Lewiston and 
other interior points. At that time there was practically no out-going freight, and the 
question was simply one of procuring the cheapest and quickest transportation of mer- 
chandise and passengers into the country. A stock subscription was started to organize 
a company for that purpose, with a capital of $300,000. The subscribers were granted 
a charter by the Legislature, January 28, 1862, the route to be surveyed by November 
1, 1863, the road completed in 1868, and the charter to continue in force until 1880. 
The gentlemen's names appended were, A. J. Cain, B. F. Whitman, L. A. Mullan, W. 
J. Terry, C. H, Armstrong, I. T. Abbott, I. T. Beese, S. M. Baldwin, E. L. Bonner, 
W. A. Mix, Charles Russell, J. A. Simms, Jesse Drumhaller, James Reynolds, D. S. 
Baker, George E. Cole, S. D. Smith, J. J. Goodwin, Neil McGlinchy, J. G. Sparks, 
W. A. George, J. M. Vansyckle, W. W. DeLacy, A. Seitel, W. A. Ball, B. F. Stone, 
J. Schwabacher, B. P. Standefer, S. W. Tatum, W. W. Johnson, D. Craig, William May 
and T. Brown. It was estimated, in advance of a survey, that the road would cost 
from $600,000 to $750,000. During the summer, the Washington Statesman endeavored 
to spur the people on to action in the matter, urging them to subscribe enough to en- 
courage capital from abroad to invest in the enterprise. They were advised to organize 
under the charter, and December 22, I 862, it published a letter from Capt. John Mul- 
lan, from New York, in which he stated that $250,000 could be easily procured on 
Wall street for the project, and, if necessary, the whole amount could be raised there. 
It then stated that during the year 1862, an average of 150 tons of freight per week 
was landed at Wallula, and from 50 to 600 passengers weekly. On the last day 
of the year, a meeting was held in Walla Walla, with E. B. Whitman, presi- 
dent, and W. W. Johnson, secretary, when committess were appointed to solicit sub- 
scriptions in New York, Washington, Portland, Vancouver, San Francisco, Dalles, 
Wallula and Walla Walla, and another committee to draw up articles of association 
and by-laws. At another meeting, March 14, 1863, the by-laws were adopted. 
Nothing definite was accomplished, and the time allowed for the making of a survey 
was permitted to lapse, and thus work a forfeiture of the charter. 




In the summer of 1862, lively opposition was carried on by steamboat men. The 
O. S. N. Co. had the Colonel Wright, Tenino and Okinagan on the river above the 
Dalles. D. S. Baker, A. P. Ankeny, H. W. Corbett, William Gates and Captain 
Baughman formed a company and built the Spray to run on the upper Columbia and 
Snake rivers, and she made fourteen trips to Lewiston that season. The People's 
Transportation Company put on a full line of boats the same year, the Cay use on the 
upper river, the Iris below the Dalles, and the E. D. Baker between the Cascades and 
Portland. This company was composed of David and Asa McCully, J. W. Cochrane, 
E. W. Baughman, Joseph Kellogg, George Jerome, D. W. Burnside, S. T. Church 
and E. N. Cooke. The opposition was a strong one during that year, and part of the 
next. In March, 1863, the O. S. N. Co. bought the /Spray, and, also, put on a new 
boat called the Nez Perce Chief. They had been having trouble with the railroads 
they were constructing. A San Francisco engineer named Goss had undertaken to 
build the roads in sixty days, and after working about eight months upon them, was 
discharged. J. W. Brazee then completed them, and started the first freight cars on the 
twentieth of April, 1863. This line at the Cascades was on the Washington side, and 
cost when placed in running order, about $200,000. The road from Dalles to Celilo 
was on the Oregon side, and now forms part of the O. R. & N. Co.'s line, and cost 
about $300,000. These were five foot gauge, but were afterwards reduced to the 
standard. The compeltion of the railroads gave the O. S. N. Co. such an advantage 
over the People's Transportation Company that in July a compromise was effected 
whereby the O. S. N. Co. bought the Iris and Cayuse, and took to itself all the trade 
of the Columbia and Snake rivers, while the other line was left without competition on 
the Willamette river. From that time the O. S. N. Co., with occassional small opposi- 
tions, enjoyed a monopoly of the Columbia river transportation, and its leading stock- 
holders have become wealthy capitalists. After this compromise, the following rate 
for freights and fares was established, a large increase upon charges during the com- 
petition : 

Freight from Portland to Dalles, per ton $15 00 

Freight from Portland to Umatilla, per ton 45 00 

Freight from Portland to Wallula, per ton 50 00 

Freight from Portland to Lewiston, per ton 90 00 

Fare from Portland to Dalles 6 00 

Fare from Portland to Umatilla and Wallula 18 00 

Fare from Portland to Lewiston 28 00 

At this time there were over 150 wagons engaged in hauling from Wallula to 
Walla Walla and Lewiston. A great many teams were also taking goods from Uma- 
tilla to Southeastern Oregon and Southern Idaho. Umatilla Landing, as it was then 
called, now Umatilla City, began to grow in importance in the spring of 1863. It diverted 
considerable trade and travel from the Wallula and Walla Walla route, and became a 
very important shipping and receiving point. Stages from there to Baker and Boise 
cities carried mail, passengers, and express independent of Walla Walla. All the 
mail for this region was taken to the Dalles by the O. S. N. Co., and from that point 


by stages. The amount of freight handled can best be expressed by saying that upon 
the completion of the railroad from the Dalles to Celilo, the wagons and teams that 
had been used by the O. S. N. Co. for portage purposes between those points were sold 
to the Government for $43,000. 

After the compromise of the competing lines had left no opposition on the river, 
D. S. Baker resolved to attack the O. S. N. Co. in its stronghold. A railroad around 
the portages, open to all freight and passengers, would encourage independent boats, and 
make it possible for them to successfully compete with the great company. He asso- 
ciated himself with William Parsons and Harris, to build a wooden road at the 

Cascades, on the old Bradford line. When this was nearly completed, the O. S. N. Co. 
secured a charter and grant of right of way from Congress, and Dr. Baker found it 
advisable to sell out to that company at a sacrifice. Several efforts were afterwards 
made to build independent railways at the Dalles and Cascades, but none progressed so 
far as to actually begin work. The line having now been built by the O. R. & N. Co., 
from Wallula to Portland will probably prevent farther effort in this direction. 


A new departure was made in the postal service in 1864, by the establishment of 
an overland mail route between Walla Walla and Salt Lake City. The contract was 
let to Ben Holladay, who put on stages to connect at Salt Lake with his other over- 
land line from California. Fare from Walla Walla to Atchison was $260, and the 
time consumed twenty days. The first mail left Walla Walla July 1, 1864, and the 
first arrived there from the East on the twentieth. Discovery of the Montana mines 
led to an increased trade and travel from this section in 1865—6, giving a new market 
for products of the country, which in consequence were taken to Colville, Kootenai, 
Blackfoot and other points. This was in competition with several other routes and 
supply points, all of which has been fully noted in the history of Walla Walla county 
for 1866. 

The O. S. N. Co. were desirous of taking all freight for Blackfoot, Colville, and 
those interior points to White Bluffs or as high up the Columbia as possible, and dis- 
criminated against such freight when landed at Wallula in 1866. In April, 1867, 
they raised the rate from Dalles to Wallula from $32.50 to $35 per ton, and many 
teamsters began hauling to Walla Walla, but the competition between mule teams and 
steamboats was necessarily short lived. 

At this time the country had become so thickly settled, that there was a large 
surplus production, over and above all the demands of the home market and for ship- 
ment to the interior. The hill lands were found to be valuable for wheat production, 
and thousands of acres had been settled upon. There was but little encouragement 
for farmers to produce much, for the rates of freight were so extremely high that grain 
could not be shipped with a profit. Flour and wool, the other great staple products, 
were also compelled to pay a revenue to the transportation company that gave but little 
to the producer. In 1865 wheat was worth $1.25 per bushel in Walla Walla, but two 
years later the increased production had brought the price down to thirty cents. Flour 
in 1865 was $10 per barrel, and in 1868 was shipped to New York and sold for the 


same price, after paying $4.70 for freight. Shipping wheat at thirty cents per bushel 
and flour at $5.30 per barrel was not profitable either to the farmer or miller, and the 
only remedy was to procure a reduction in the cost of transportation. 

One of the steps to that end, so far as Walla Walla and the great farming country 
back of it were concerned, was the building of a railroad between Walla Walla and 
Wallula. The Statesman had several articles on the subject, advocating a horse rail- 
road if nothing better could be had. The former movement in the same direction, was 
to enable them to bring goods to Walla Walla at such rates as would give that city the 
advantage in its competition with other points in supplying the mines ; now, they de- 
sired a road to aid in the development of the country by sending its produce out into 
the great markets of the world. What a change had been wrought in six years! 
March 23, 1868, the citizens of Walla Walla assembled at the court-house to con- 
sider this question. A committee of investigation was appointed, and at another 
meeting five days later, it was resolved to organize a company. This resulted in the 
incorporation in April, 1868, of the Walla Walla and Columbia River R. R. Co., by 
D. S. Baker, A. H. Reynolds, I. T. Reese, A. Kyger, J. H. Lasater, J. D. Mix, 
B. Scheideman, and W. H. Newell. It was proposed to get the O. S. N. Co. to take 
at least $100,000 of stock, Walla Walla county $200,000, and the city $50,000. 
Delegate Flanders procured the passage of an act by Congress, March 3, 1869, grant- 
ing the right of way and authorizing the county commissioners to issue $300,000 in 
aid of the road, after the approval of the people being given at a special election . 


This enterprise, laden with results of vast importance to the Northwest, began to 
make its presence known at this time. The idea of building a road from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific, by which the trade of Asia could be carried across the continent, was 
by no means a new one. In 1835, Rev. Samuel Parker, on his way across the conti- 
nent to Oregon, to labor as a missionary among the Indians of the Columbia, 
remarked in his journal of that expedition : " There would be no difficulty in the 
way of constructing a railroad from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean ; and probably 
the time may not be far distant, when trips will be made across the continent as they 
have been made to the Niagara Falls, to see nature's wonders." The project of 
building such a railroad was first agitated in 1845, by Asa Whitney, of New York, 
who had spent many years in China, had gathered all the information possible about 
the country lying between Puget Sound and Lake Michigan, and was enthusiastic on 
the subject of a railroad connecting those bodies of water, over which the trade of 
Asia could be carried. In 1846 and 1847 he had so far interested prominent men 
in Philadelphia and New York, that public meetings were held to discuss the sub- 
ject. June 23, 1848, Hon. James Pollock, of Pennsylvania, reported favorably from 
a special committee appointed by the House at his suggestion, recommending explo- 
rations and surveys. February 7, 1849, Thomas H. Benton, of Missouri, introduced 
a bill in the Senate for a Pacific railroad. 

In an address entitled "The New Northwest," delivered by Hon. W. D. Kelley in 
Philadelphia, June 12, 1871, in speaking of the movement in 1846, in which he took 
a prominent part, that a gentleman said : 


"Let no man think that the Pacific Railroad then projected was to run to San Francisco, or 
elsewhere than to the heart of the unorganized Territory of Oregon, which extended from the 42nrl to 
the 49th parallel of latitude, and embraced what is now the State of Oregon and Washington Ter- 
ritory, into which no settlers had gone. There was then no San Francisco. Not a cabin or hut 
stood within the corporate limits of that beautiful and prosperous city. 1 California, Nevada, 
Arizona and New Mexico were still Mexican territory. Neither science nor observation had detected 
the deposits of gold and silver, or the agricultural capabilities of that vast region of country. " 

The discovery of gold in California, and the vast emigration thither, tended to 
turn the eyes of America away from Puget Sound and fix them upon San Francisco 
bay. A new route and new terminus were advocated, not because they possessed 
greater natural advantages, but because more people were there to advocate it and be 
benefited thereby. 

In the Act of March 3, 1853, Congress provided for the exploration of a northern, 
central and southern route across the continent, and in 1855 the report of these explo- 
rations was published in thirteen quarto volumes, illustrated with elaborate engravings. 
In this report the preference was given to the northern route, as being the shortest, 
possessing the least engineering objections, and passing through the most fertile and 
valuable country. It failed to show that a road across the Sierra Nevada was practi- 
cable. This was done in 1858 by Theodore D. Judah, who surveyed a route at his 
own expense, agitated the question for several years, and finally organized the Central 
Pacific Railroad Company. He made two trips to Washington and procured the passage 
in 1862, of the Pacific Railroad Bill. Aside from the commercial aspect of the question, 
it was considered a political and military necessity, intensified by the great rebellion 
then in progress, to connect California with the East by rail. Work was at once begun, 
and the last spike that joined the Union and Central Pacific roads, was driven at 
Promontory Point, Utah, on the tenth of May, 1869. 

Meanwhile the advocates of a line to the Columbia river and Puget Sound were 
not idle. They fully appreciated the value of the vast tracts of agricultural land in 
Minnesota, Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon, to be opened up and de- 
veloped by such a road, the richness in minerals of the country through which it would 
run, the advantages Puget Sound possessed over San Francisco as a point for handling 
and transferring to a railroad the commerce of Asia, and finally, the local advantages 
of construction and shortness of line possessed by this route. The Northern Pacific- 
Railroad was incorporated and granted the right of way by the Act of July 2, 1864, and 
in aid of its construction the company was granted the odd numbered sections of public 
lands lying within ten miles of the road in the States, and within twenty miles in the 
territories. Several years were spent in ineffectual efforts to secure a sufficient amount 
of capital, and to induce the government to guarantee bonds of the company. Finally 
in 1870, a contract was made with Jay Cooke & Co. to act as financial agents of the 
road, to procure means for its construction. In the summer of 1869, a party of gentle- 
men, officials and engineers of the Northern Pacific road passed from the Sound east 
across the continent. They were the pioneer inspectors of the route, and we find them 
giving the following expression of appreciation of a Walla Walla citizen and his efforts 
in the interest of the Northwest. It is an extract from a private letter, dated at Camp 
No. 6, six miles north of Spokane river, is signed by Thomas H. Canfield, W. Milnor 

1 An error in regard to settlement of Oregon and San Francisco. 


Robeson, Samuel Wilkeson, W. A. Johnson, W. E. C. Moorhead, and is in the follow- 
ing language. 

" During the few weeks we accompanied each other in the important reconnaissance we are 
now making, we have seen more than we have ever before met with in the same space of time; and 
we are glad to have it in our power to say that your glaring statements of the natural advantages 
of this wonderful region on the Pacific Slope have not been overstated — that as far as we have ad- 
vanced from Puget Sound on our way to the summit of the main divide between the Pacific and 
Atlantic waters they are fully sustained. 

"At no distant period, when the Northern Pacific Railroad shall become a fixed fact, and when 
trains of cars shall be daily passing between Puget Sound and the Atlantic Cities, your name will 
ever be honorably associated among the pioneers who have been instrumental in securing public 
attention to this remarkable route, and in hastening the actual construction of a grand trunk Conti- 
nental railroad over it." 

The letter referred, and was written to Philip Ritz ; and in this connection it seems 
to us not amiss to state in regard to that gentleman, that as early as 1866, he com- 
menced investigation by exploration of this northern route making several trips across 
the mountains in that direction. He finally became so thoroughly impressed with its 
importance and feasibility, that, in the winter of 1867 and 1868, he determined to 
visit Washington to urge the project, and crossed the continent in a stage coach in mid 
winter for that purpose. While there in March, 1868, at the instance of N. P. R. R. 
directors, he gave to the press an article from his pen entitled, "The Agricultural and 
Mineral Recources of the Northwest Territories on the line of the N. P. R. R." This 
letter was printed, and placed upon the desk of every member of Congress — and ex- 
tensively circulated throughout the country — and referred to by quite a number of 
members in speeches made on the subject. General Cass and Wm. B. Ogden, two of 
the earliest and wealthiest directors, and to whom the enterprise is mainly indebted 
for its existence, while on a visit to this country several years afterwards, when on a 
steamer on the Columbia river, told Mr. Ritz that his letter having accidentally fallen 
into their hands, was the means of first attracting their attention to the scheme of build- 
ing a railroad on the northern route. His letter was published May 14, 1868, in the 
Helena Herald, when the editor stated in regard to it and the author, that he, "More 
than any other man, has endeavored to further the interests of the country about which 
he writes. He has ever been a warm advocate of the immediate construction of the 
N. P. R. R., and by his many able expositions of the importance of this grand enter- 
prise, he has been greatly instrumental in directing the attention of railroad corpora- 
tions and capitalists to this route. He is thoroughly familiar with the region of the 
Northwest, of which he is one of the pioneers. This fact, combined with his ability 
as a writer, and his peculiar faculity of making intelligent observations during his 
travels, renders his views regarding the opening of lines of communication between the 
various prominent points of the territories referred to, valuable for reference or infor- 
mation to our people and outside capitalists, as well as entertaining to the general 
reader. It cannot fail to interest all our readers and we commend it to their attentive 

Mr. Ritz made all of these examinations and trips over the continent at his own 
expense, both of time and money. He has crossed the Rocky mountains twenty-seven 
times, and made two trips by the way of Panama. It is hardly necessary to remark 
that the N. P. R. R. question was then, and still is, on of vital import in solving a 


transportation problem that is of serious moment to the region along the Blue moun- 
tain base. 


At a meeting held in Walla Walla, March 15, 1871, a proposition was made by 
the N. P. R. R. Co. to survey a route from Walla Walla to Wallula, provided the citi- 
zens would subscribe $2,000, the company to turn over all plats and field notes to the 
W. W. & C. R. R. R. Co., in case it should decide not to run its line through 
Walla Walla, and through the exertions of H. M. Chase the money was raised. Hav- 
ing decided not to build on this line, the N. P. R. R. had James Tilton, its chief en- 
gineer, report to the W. W. & C. R. R. R. Co. in May, 1871. The report showed the 
length to be 31i miles; maximum grade, 59 feet; estimated cost, $673,236.71, or $21,- 
271.30 per mile. The chief stockholders of the W. W. & C. R. R. R. Co. at that time 
were Dr. D. S. Baker, H. M. Chase, L. McMorris, William Stephens, J. F. Boyer, B. 
L. Sharpstein and other citizens of Walla Walla. Upon the reception of Tilton's re- 
port, they requested the county commissioners to call an election under the Act of 
March 3, 1869, on the question of issuing Walla Walla county bonds to the amount of 
$200,000. The election was set for June 26, 1871, but before that time the order was 
revoked to save expense, it having become evident that the subsidy would be defeated. 
The company then made a proposition to the people. They offered for the delivery of 
$300,000 bonds to construct a T-iron road within a year; to place in the hands of the 
county commissioners all moneys received from down freights as a sinking fund, and 
to allow the board to fix the rate on such freights, provided that it was not placed at 
less than $2.00, nor so high as to exclude freight from the road; to give a first mort- 
gage on the road, to secure the county; and to give security that the bonds would be 
legitimately used in constructing the road. An election was called by the board for 
September 18, 1871, at which time the measure was defeated. This was a surprise to 
the company, as the shipment of produce from the country was the chief reason for 
a road, and as the regulation of doivn freight was to be placed in the hands of the 
people's representatives, who could fix it at $2.00 if they so desired, which was less 
than one-quarter of the cost at that time for conveying grain from Walla Walla to 
the river. A favorable vote of two-thirds was required by the Act, but it fell so far 
short that a majority of eighteen against the measure was cast, the total vote being 935. 
Dr. Baker, who owned the bulk of the stock, then decided to build and control the 
road himself, and in March, 1872, grading was commenced at Wallula. 


Again railroad projects began to multiply. In the spring of 1872, the Grand 
Ronde and Walla Walla Railroad Company was incorporated, to build a road and 
telegraph line to connect the two points named. A line was surveyed that year to the 
Umatilla river, thirty-six miles, where work was stopped for the winter and never re- 
sumed. In the spring of 1873, a bill was introduced in Congress, granting the right 
of way for a road from the N. P. line at Spokane river, via Penawawa, Dayton, Waits- 


burg, Walla Walla, La Grande, Baker City and Boise City, to some point on the Cen- 
tral Pacific road, but the bill failed to pass. 

The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad Company was organized on the Sound in 
1873, and in August A. A. Denny and J. J. McGilvra visited this section in the inter- 
ests of the road. Mass meetings were held in Walla Walla, Waitsburg and Dayton. 
The Cascade mountains were to be crossed through the Snoqualmie pass; the road was 
to be 260 miles long, and was to cost $4,500,000. These people who a few days later 
declared their inability to raise $40,000 to aid in completing the road from Wallula, 
were enthusiastic in regard to a road that was to cost $4,500,000, and agreed to raise 
five-thirteenths of the money, provided Walla W alia was made the terminus and they 
were allowed to name five of the thirteen directors. The incorporation was amended 
accordingly, and S. Schwabacher, W. F. Kimball, Jesse N. Day, W. P. Bruce andW. 
M. Shelton were selected as the five directors to represent this region. 

September 22, 1873, but a few days after this new project had been taken up, a 
meeting was held in Walla Walla to consider a proposition made by Dr. Baker. He 
had been slowly and quietly building his road, using wooden rails at first, and then 
strap iron on the wood, and now he proposed at once to complete it with strap 
iron to Walla Walla, provided the people would subscribe $40,000 to the capital stock, 
or take that amount of bonds. Their heads were so full of big railroads, and espe- 
cially this road to the Sound, which not only took them to the Columbia river, but to 
deep sea direct, that they had no money to give to this little road, which was the only 
one showing any signs of vitality. Though they could no more handle the road they 
were interested in than they could move the sun, they were so engrossed in it that the 
$40,000 could not be raised, and Dr. Baker continued to plod along as he had done 

Still another project tended to divert the minds of the people of Walla Walla 
from the little road creeping so slowly towards them. The Portland, Dalles and Salt 
Lake Railroad Company had been organized several years, with the purpose of cheap- 
ening transportation on the Columbia in opposition to the O. S. N. Co., and to build a 
railroad from Umatilla, or some point on the river to the Central Pacific road near 
Ogden. This project met with great favor in Eastern Oregon and Southern Idaho, 
as well as in Walla Walla, from which place it was the intention to build a branch to 
some point on its main line. In the spring of 1874, Congress was asked to guarantee 
the interest on this company's bonds to the amount of $10,000 per mile, the company 
offering to carry the mail and United States supplies free of charge. Senator Mitchell 
introduced the bill, but could not procure its passage. 

The suspension of the house of Jay Cooke & Co., in September, 1873, and the 
consequent bankruptcy of the N. P. R. R. Co., sent a wave of financial panic and ruin 
over the country. Work on that road was suspended indefinitely. Up to that time 
$30,000,000 of bonds had been issued, 230 miles of track laid in Minnesota, 195 in 
Dakota, and 105 from Kalama to Tacoma in Western Washington. This road had 
made a partial survey of a route across the Cascades from the Sound. In the spring 
of 1874, the S. & W. W. R. R. Co. began the survey of a line from Walla Walla to 
the head of the Yakima to connect there with the survey previously made by the N. P. 
R. R. Co. A bill was introduced in Congress, providing for an election in the counties of 


King, Yakima and Walla Walla, and in the cities of Seattle and Walla Walla, on the 
question of giving bonds to aid the S. & W. W. R. R. Co., but it failed to pass. 

The Dayton & Columbia River Transportation Company filed articles of incor- 
poration in August, 1874. The object of the company was to build a narrow gauge 
road from Dayton to Wallula, via Waitsburg and Walla Walla ; thence by steamers, 
and rail portages at the Dalles and Cascades, to continue their line to the mouth of the 
Columbia. Such an enterprise carried into effect, would have been of vast advantage 
to this whole region, but it was beyond the means of the projectors. 

A strong effort was made in 1875 to pass the bill in aid of the P. D. & St. L. R. 
R. Co. The people of Eastern Oregon and Washington, and of Idaho were enthusi- 
astic in favor of the road. Mass-meetings were held, and the papers were full of it. 
The Idaho Legislature memorialized Congress on the subject. Now that the N. P. 
road had practically passed from the field, it was thought that this one would be as 
valuable as that would have been. The bill failed to pass, but another, providing for 
a survey of the route, became a law. March 13, 1875, a dispatch was received to the 
effect that arrangements had been made with English capitalists to furnish $18,000 
per mile for building the road, which was to be completed in five years. Jubilees 
were held throughout this whole section, and good feeling continued until it was 
learned that the announcement was premature, and the arrangement had collapsed. 

The Walla Walla & Columbia River R. R. Co. completed its track from Wallula 
to the Touchet, a distance of fifteen miles, in March, 1874. The first eight miles had 
been built with wooden rails, upon which strap-iron was laid in the curves. In this 
way it was completed under charge of Maj. Sewell Truax to the Touchet, when strap- 
iron was laid on all the rails and T-iron placed at the curves and difficult places. 
That year it carried from the Touchet 4,021 tons of wheat, and brought up 1,126 tons 
of merchandise. In January, 1875, the company proposed to at once complete the 
road if the people would subscribe $75,000 to the capital stock. At a meeting in 
Walla Walla, it was decided that so large a sum could not be raised. The company 
then made another, and final, proposition : They would immediately connect that city 
with the Columbia river by rail if the people would give them title to three acres of 
ground for depot and side tracks, secure the right of way for nine miles west of the 
depot, and subscribe $25,000. A mass-meeting was held January 26, 1875, to con- 
sider this, which accepted the proposition and appointed a committee to raise the 
money. Twenty thousand and sixty-five dollars were subscribed, and then the matter 
began to cool. Much was said in the papers and outside about the probabilities of the 
road terminating at the Mission, and possibly being extended up the river, to the great 
injury of Walla Walla. This resulted in increasing the subscription to $26,478.05, 
many farmers giving wheat at thirty cents per bushel. Waitsburg and Dayton held 
meetings to consider the question of connecting their towns by a narrow gauge railway 
with Walla Walla, but accomplished nothing. The road was finally completed to 
Walla Walla October 23, 1875, with 25 pound T-iron, and soon after this class of rail 
was laid its entire length, and 9,155 tons of wheat were hauled over it in 1875. 

The Columbia River Improvement Company was organized in Portland in 1875, 
and brought suit against the O. S. N. Co. to obtain the right of way around the Cas- 
cades, in which they were successful. They offered to put boats on the river, and to 


give security to carry freight and passengers for five years at one-half the rate then 
charged by the O. S. N. Co., provided the people of Eastern Oregon and Washington 
would build a good wagon road around the Dalles, and advance $60,000, to be re- 
funded in transportation. The people became quite enthusiastic on this proposition, 
and subscriptions were being rapidly taken, when the company sold out to the O. S. 
N. Co. in January, 1876 ; subscriptions stopped, and great indignation was felt. 

In the session of 1875-6, an effort was made to have Congress appropriate a suffi- 
cient sum for a canal at the Cascades. In December, 1872, Senator Mitchell had first 
urged this matter before that body, and in 1874 had secured a preliminary survey. 
In January, 1876, the Columbia River Improvement Company had procured the sur- 
vey of a canal on the Oregon side, 2,838 feet long, 21 feet fall, two locks, and esti- 
mated to cost less than $500,000. Congress was in the anti-subsidy humor, and 
refused to make an appropriation, or to grant aid to the P. D. & St. L. R, R. Co., 
which was urgently pressing its claims. An appropriation was made for the improve- 
ment of the upper Columbia and Snake rivers, by removing rocks from the channel. 
This work was under charge of Col. John M. Wilson, who pushed it vigorously, to the 
great benefit of navigation. March 1, 1876, a scow engaged in this work at the rapids 
above Umatilla, with seventeen men and 100 pounds of giant powder on board, blew 
up, killing thirteen of the men and badly wounding another. 


In the spring of 1876 quite a war between the people and the railroad was inaug- 
urated in W'alla Walla. Freights were advanced from $5.00 to $5.50 per ton, and 
though this was less than one-half the amount paid before the road was built, it caused 
intense feeling upon all sides. It was claimed that the $25,000 bonus given to com- 
plete it had been worse than thrown away ; that the same sum would have completed 
a good wagon road, which would always have served as a check upon the railroad, and 
compelled its construction to Walla Walla without a subsidy. The wagon road to 
Wallula was a bad one, and the papers urgently renewed the demand they had been 
making for several years, for the county commissioners to put it in good condition. 
An appropriation of $5,000 was made for that purpose in February, and a committee 
of merchants waited upon Dr. Baker to ask for a reduction of down freight. He con- 
vened the board of directors, who voted not to grant the request. The business firms 
to the number of fifty-three, nearly every one of consequence in the city, then 
endorsed a resolution passed by the Grange Council, not to ship by the railroad, nor 
trade with any firm that did so. The Grangers also investigated the question of a 
canal from Whitman Mission to Wallula. Several hundred tons of wheat were 
forwarded in wagons by the merchants for $5.00 per ton, and merchandise brought 
back at the same rate. The people of Dayton and vicinity hauled their grain to the 
mouth the Tukannon, where the O. S. N. Co. received and took it to Portland for 
$3.00 per ton. It cost $4.50 to put it on the boat. Special arrangements were made 
to receive freight at the mouth of the Tukannon, where a little place called Grange 
City sprang up. The O. S. N. Co., which had been alternately flattered and abused, 
was now looked upon for a time as a good institution, because, in its own interest, it 


was endeavoring to draw freight to the river above Wallula. Still, when Capt. J. T. 
Stump offered to build a boat suited to the Snake river trade, and carry freight in op- 
position to that company, the Grangers aided him with money for that purpose. This 
boat, the Northwest, was run as an opposition by Captain Stump and Small Bros, until 
1878, when it entered the O. S. N. Co.'s service. The attempt to compete with the 
railroad by teams was soon abandoned as impracticable, as it was found that even if 
the road was making too much profit at $5.50 per ton, it was a cheaper rate than the 
teamsters could afford to haul it for. The O. S. N. Co. received at Wallula in 1876, 
16,766 tons, 15,266 of which came by Baker's railroad and 1,500 by other conveyances. 
It delivered 4,034 tons of up freight, of which the railroad forwarded all but 513. 
Two-thirds of the shipments were of wheat and the balance was flour, bacon, wool, etc. 


Several new railroad projects appeared in 1876. The Walla Walla & Dayton 
R. R. Co. was incorporated in March, to build a road between those points, with 
Dayton as the principal place of business. E. Ping, S. M.Wait, Jesse N. Day, A. H. 
Reynolds, and H. M. Chase were the trustees. This resulted in nothing permanent. 
In September the Oregon Pacific R. R. Co. was incorporated in Portland, to construct 
a road from Portland along the Columbia to Umatilla county, and thence eastward, 
through Idaho, to the U. P. road near Ogden. The incorporators were wealthy capi- 
talists of Portland. This was practically the same route as that of the P. D. & St. L. 
road, to which it was designed as a successor. A bill was introduced into the Oregon 
Legislature, to lend the company $24,000 for each twenty miles of track completed, 
but failed to pass, and the company disappeared. It was succeeded in September, 1877, 
by the Portland, Salt Lake & South Pass R. R. Co., organized to accomplish the same 
object, and to take advantage of the laches of the N. P. R. R. Co., whose extended 
land grant was about to expire. 

The efforts to secure an appropriation from Congress to build a canal at the Cas- 
cades were, finally, successful. In August $90,000 were set aside for the inauguration 
of the work. In March, 1877, Col. John M. Wilson completed a survey and estimate 
and in August the board of engineers, accompanied by General Alexander, Chief En- 
gineer, came from Washington to examine the place. The canal survey was on the 
Oregon side, and showed the following figures : Length, 7,200 feet ; width at bottom 
50 feet, at top 58 feet ; depth at low water, 8 feet ; two locks 50 feet wide and 300 feet 
long; lifts, 12 and 14 feet; estimated cost, $1,723,000. Work on it was commenced, 
and is slowly progressing in that deliberate manner characteristic of all national enter- 
prises, when appropriations made from time to time, become exhausted long before an- 
other can be secured. 

The shipments by rail from this section largely increased in 1877 ; consisted of 
wheat 22,200 tons ; flour, oats, barley, flax seed, wool, bacon, lard, etc., 6,606 tons, of 
which two-thirds were flour. There were also 8,368 tons of up freight of which 3,500 
were agricultural implements. In 1878 there were 8,500 tons exported of wheat, 6,514 
of flour, etc., and imported 10,454 tons of merchandise. The average railway freight 
rate by way of Wallula was $4.50 per ton. 


A local effort was made in Eastern Oregon to secure the railroad facilities they 
required, and which they had hoped to obtain from the P. D. & St. L. road and kin- 
dred projects. These had reached beyond the ability of their projectors to handle, and 
the people were enthusiastic in favor of some smaller enterprise that would supply the 
local want. The Blue Mountain and Columbia River Railroad Company was organ- 
ized in the fall of 1877, to build a three-foot gauge from La Grande, through Weston 
and Pendleton, to Umatilla Landing, seventy miles. The people of Walla Walla 
looked upon this as an outlet, by means of a branch line, by which they could compel 
the W. W. & C. R. R. R. Co. to lower its freight tariff. A road from Dayton, via 
Waitsburg and Walla Walla, to Weston, and in case the other one was not built, to 
run to Pendleton and Umatilla, was much discussed. It was claimed that it would pay 
expenses as soon as the first ten miles from Umatilla were completed. Four miles of 
the B. M. & C. R. road were graded by the gratuitous work of the people in the fall of 
1877. The "power behind the throne" in this enterprise, was the O. S. N. Co., which 
declared in the spring of 1877 its intention to build a narrow gauge road on this route 
to La Grande, and to have forty miles of it completed by fall. The Weston, Pendle- 
ton and Columbia River Railroad Company was organized in December, 1877, but was 
consolidated in a few weeks with the B. M. & C. R. R. Co. The latter let a contract 
in May, 1878, for the grading of twenty-eight miles of road bed, and the work was 
done. The company is still in existence, but in view of the O. R. & N. Co.'s branch 
from Umatilla, will probably never resume work on its line. 

The O. S. N. Co. were desirous of buying Dr. Baker's road and building a general 
system of roads in this region, of which the road from Umatilla was one, but were not 
able to accomplish their original purpose. They offered to buy the W. W. & C. R. 
road, but Dr. Baker refused to sell to the company. Negotiations continued until 
January, 1879, when Dr. Baker sold six-sevenths of his stock to Capt. J. C. Ains- 
worth, W. S. Ladd, S. G. Reed, and C. E. Tilton. The road was then thirty-two miles 
long, and had 100 cars and four engines, and was valued at $10,000 per mile. The 
purchasers, though chief owners of the O. S. N. Co., had bought this road as individ- 
uals, and the two companies were neither combined, nor dependent upon each other. 
It was the plan of the new management to build a system of narrowgauge roads in 
Eastern Oregon and Washington, sufficient for all its needs, and to develop it thorougly 
by gradual extension in all directions. In the fall of 1877, Dr. Baker had a sur- 
vey and estimate made of an extension of his road from Whitman Junction to Weston, 
and under the new management this work was commenced. 

The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad Company made a last effort in the fall of 
1877, to get some financial aid, in order to build its line across the Cascades, and 
forestall the N. P. R. R. Co., which was then on the verge of resuming active opera- 
tions. During the closing hours of the Legislature in November, a bill was passed in 
its interest, under a suspension of the rules. The Act provided that the S. & W. W. 
R. R. Co. should amend its articles of incorporation so as to continue the road from 
Walla Walla, through Dayton, to Colfax. It also provided for a special election to be 
held April 9, 1878, to vote on the question of a subscription to its stock by the various 
counties, the amount for each being designated ; an adverse decision by both King and 
Walla Walla counties was to work as a negative to the whole matter. It was the gen- 


eral opinion that the Legislature had exceeded its authority, as the Organic Act of the 
Territory contained a clause forbidding the Legislative Assembly to issue or authorize 
the issuance of any obligations, and the matter was dropped. 

The Northwestern Stage Company, was an important institution for a number of 
years. It began running in 1871 through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and 
Utah, connecting the Columbia river with the Pacific Railroad in Utah, carrying pas- 
sengers, the United States mail, and W., F. & Co.'s express. In 1878, it lost the Gov- 
ernment contracts, and its own existence in consequence. At that time it was not run- 
ning beyond Boise City. It had been operating 435 miles of daily stage line: From 
Boise City to Umatilla, 290 miles; Umatilla to Dalles, 110 miles; and a branch from 
Cayuse to Walla Walla, 35 miles. It used 300 horses, 22 coaches; had 34 stations, 
about 150 employes; and consumed annually 730,000 pounds of grain and 825,000 
pounds of hay. The route of the new contractor was from Kelton, Utah, to Dalles, 
connecting at Pendleton for Walla Walla. Another route from Walla Walla to Col- 
fax, via Waitsburg, Dayton, Pomeroy, and Almota, and one from Dayton to Lewiston, 
were let to other parties. Shorter routes branched out at various points from the 
large ones. Since July 1, 1882, all overland mail has come by the way of the Sacra- 
mento and Willamette valleys. 

Two projects to cheapen transportation on the Columbia were set on foot in 1878. 
In May, 1878, U. B. Scott & Co., of Portland, who had been running opposition boats 
on the Willamette, offered to put a complete line on the Columbia, including railroads 
at the Dalles and Cascades, provided a company was organized with a cash capital of 
$350,000. A meeting was held in Walla Walla, but the business men failed to attend. 
A convention of delegates from each election precinct east of the Cascades was called 
to meet in W alia Walla on the eighth of June, but it did not assemble. Gov. David 
P. Thompson made a proposition to the people of the upper Columbia, that summer, of- 
fering to build railroads at the Dalles and Cascades, with all necessary wharf-boats, 
etc., costing about $300,000, provided they would subscribe half that sum. He agreed 
to carry all freight that offered around the Cascades for $1.00 per ton, and around the 
Dalles for $2.00; wheat and flour were to be taken at half that rate. This idea, the 
same as the one prompting the Baker combination in 1864, was that facilities for portage 
being thus in the hands of a common carrier compelled to take all freight and passen- 
gers that were offered, would enable independent boats to multijjly on the river to such 
an extent as to reduce freight rates to the least possible figures. It was affirmed that 
rates then charged by the O. S. N. Co. would be reduced as follows : 

O. S. N. Co. New rate. 

Portland to Dalles $10 00 $ 4 00 

Portland to Umatilla 20 06 8 00 

Portland to Wallula 25 00 9 00 

Portland to Palouse 32 40 10 00 

Portland to Almota 37 50 11 00 

Portland to Lewiston 40 00 12 00 

The idea met with great favor, but $150,000 was a greater sum than could be 
raised here for any such purpose. U. B. Scott & Co., having abandoned the idea of 
their opposition line, formed the Columbia Portage Company, in August, 1878, for the 


purpose of building these independent roads at the Dalles and Cascades. The comple- 
tion of such an enterprise would have terminated the monopoly the O. S. N. 
Co. had enjoyed for nearly two score of years, and the result was that it was not 


After the failure of this company in 1873, it passed through the machinery of courts, 
and in 1875 was foreclosed under a mortgage to holders of $29,119,410 of its bonds, when 
it passed into the hands of a committee of those bondholders. They reorganized, issued 
preferred stock in exchange for the bonds, and the new stockholders exceeded 8,000 in 
number. Several years were then consumed in paving the way for a resumption of 
work. The land grant was about to expire by limitation, and to procure an extension 
of this was the first work of the company. The time originally set for completion of 
the road was July 4, 1876. This was extended to July 4, 1877, by the joint resolu- 
tion of July 1, 1868. May 7, 1876, a joint resolution extending the time two years 
was construed to fix July 4, 1879, as the limit for its completion. A Senate bill was 
introduced in the fall of 1877 contemplating a further extension, but providing also 
for a grant to the P. St. L. & S. P. R. R. Co., of the land along the Cascade 
branch, and privileges in common of the line down the Columbia. In committee this 
was remodelled and made into two bills : one of them containing the JST. P. P. P. Co.'s 
ten-year extension clause, and confirming all its privileges and grants ; and the other, 
granting the P. St. L. & S. P. R. R. Co. ten sections per mile on each side of the 
track, from Umatilla to Salt Lake. The first one passed the Senate, too late for con- 
sideration by the House, so hampered by restrictive clauses, that the directors of the 
company declared that the road could not be built under its provisions even had it be- 
come a law. A more liberal bill reported by a committee in the House, was not car- 
ried through that body. With its failure to secure government aid the P. St. L. & 
S. P. Co. dropped out of the railroad arena. 

Charles B.Wright was chosen president of the N. P. R. R, Co. upon its reorgan- 
ization in 1875. Under his administration preparations were made to resume active 
operations ; repairs were made along the line already built, and in 1877 sixty-four 
miles were constructed in Minnesota, and thirty-one in western Washington. In 1878, 
a thorough survey of a route across the Cascades was made, and in October, W. Milnor 
Robeson, Chief Engineer, reported as follows : 

New Tacoma to Orting (completed) 18 miles 

Orting to Mishall Ford 19 " 

Mishall Ford to Bear Prairie ., 34 ■' 

Bear Prairie to Cowlitz Pass 49 " 

Cowlitz Pass to mouth of Nachess 63 " 

Mouth of Nachess to junction with main line near mouth of Snake river 89 " 

Total 272 " 

Estimated cost of necessary 254 miles : Construction, $5,399,111 ; bridges, rolling- 
stock, etc., $5,937,211; bridge or ferries at Columbia river, $1,000,000. He adds: 


" On the whole it is a fairly feasible route." No work has been done on that branch, 
but the president of the company declares the intention of building it as soon as the 
main line is completed. 

In May, 1879, Frederick Billings became its president, and under his manage- 
ment active operations in constructing the main line were resumed, and during the two 
years he was at the head of the company, about 200 miles were completed, and 100 
more graded. Mr. Billings resigned in May, 1881, and Henry Villard, of the 
O. B. & N. Co., representing a wealthy syndicate of capitalists, obtaining control, was 
chosen president, and under his management the work is being pushed to a speedy 
completion. It is expected that the main line from Lake Superior to Wallula, a 
distance of 1,684 miles, where it connects with 210 miles of the O. R. & N. Co.'s road 
to Portland, will be completed in 1883. Its construction from Wallula west may never 
be completed in accord with the charter, as its necesssity has been anticipated by the 
O. B. & N. Co.'s line, to which it would be a parallel with the Columbia river only 
between them. 


This corporation has proved to be one of those phenomenal enterprises that have 
grown to vast proportions under the influence of unlimited capital, handled by a finan- 
cial genius, aided by minds capable of comprehending the wants of a country with 
knowledge of how to meet them. Henry Villard, whose brain gave birth and vitality 
to it, came to Oregon originally in the interest of German capitalists who held the 
bonds of the Oregon and California railroad, and he managed their interests in a man- 
ner to command confidence. With the quick eye of a thorough man of business, he took 
in the whole situation of the Columbia region, realizing in anticipation the value of every 
section and the possibilities of the future. His remarkable business ability had already 
won wealth for him, when he returned to this country in the summer of 1879, at which 
time he represented unlimited capital that stood ready to invest at his discretion. 
With this he purchased the steamship line between San Francisco and Portland, and 
prepared to place better steamers on that route. He then requested the Oregon Steam 
Navigation Company to place a value upon their properties and franchises, which he 
purchased at their own figures. A man of less comprehension would have hesitated 
at the figures named by the O. S. N. Co., but his backers had confidence in him and 
he had breadth of mind to recognize the possibilities of the country and to reach for 
them, which could only be done by obtaining control of the monopoly that evidently 
feared to grapple for a contest with this financial Ajax who demanded their price. 

Thus the Oregon Bailway and Navigation Company was created, and secured 
control at the outset, of all our rivers, ocean line, portage roads, and the road from the 
Columbia river to Walla Walla. These were the nucleus of that great railroad and 
navigation system that now traverses the ocean, the rivers, and Puget Sound, and is 
constructing railroads to make that system supply every transportation need of the 
Pacific Northwest. Within a little more than three years this company has con- 
structed railroad lines from Portland to Walla Walla, and beyond to Snake river at 
Riparia, with a branch to Waitsburg and Dayton. In the not remote future its main 
route up that stream will be extended to Lewiston, reaching by the way the fertile dis- 


tricfs of Patalia, Tukannon and Alpowa. The broad scope of the company's designs 
can be seen from the fact that they have had the passes of the Clearwater through the 
Bitter Root ranges, beyond Lewiston, surveyed and a route located to Missoula, in 
Montana, 261 miles, and look to the construction of a road on that line as one of the 
probabilities of the near future. 

Owing to difficulties of the route to the Palouse country, via Riparia, or Texas 
ferry, an easier one has been adopted for the supply of transj^ortation for that region. 
The Columbia and Palouse R. R. Co. has been incorporated, to start from Palouse 
Junction, on the line of the N. P. R. R., 51 miles above Wallula, thence to run easterly 
to Endicott, with branches to Colfax, Moscow, and Farmington, thus thoroughly open- 
ing the whole Palouse region from" the Coeur d' Alene mountains to its western limit. 

Since the purchase of the O. S. K Co.'s lines in 1879 the O. R. & K Co. has 
done much to favor the producer, and its interests would seem to warrant an assurance 
of a continuance of such j)olicy. Freights from Walla Walla were $13 per ton when 
the narrow gauge road, first constructed, was the only means of communication with the 
Columbia. At the present time, freights from Walla Walla and all points beyond 
there, including the Palouse country, by Snake river as far as Lewiston and the mouth 
of the Assotin, and from all parts of Umatilla county, Oregon, are reduced to $8 
per ton, with promise of further reduction in the near future, all of which has con- 
tributed largely to improve prices, and give a stimulus to production. 

Another important branch of the O. R. & N". Co.'s system is the Blue Mountain 
division, known as the Baker City branch ; which starts at Umatilla, on the Columbia, 
and will cross those mountains to Baker City. It is already constructed and operated 
for 43 miles, to Pendleton, in Umatilla county, and the work of grading through the 
mountains is being prosecuted with energy. This branch will do much to develop the 
regions of Eastern Oregon that have been destitute of transportation facilities, other 
than afforded by teams and pack trains. We have only referred to the plans and op- 
erations of Mr. Villard and his associates, through the O. R. & N. Co., so far as they 
have contributed to the growth and prosperity of Eastern Oregon and Washington 
Territory, as such only comes within the scope of this work. 


Henry Villard J. N. Dolph Henry Failing 

A. H. Holmes S. G. Reed W. S. Ladd 

W. H. Starbuck Wm. Endicott, Jr. C. H. Prescott 

C. H. Lewis Geo. M. Pullman 


The people of Eastern Washington look to Puget Sound as the point where their 
products will in due time be shipped to the world's markets and anticipate especial 
benefits when direct communication shall be had with that great harbor. The evident 
intention of the Northern Pacific Company is to speedily complete the gap between 
Portland and Kalama, and it is known that a company is organized to build along the 


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Ejy a'/?: 



Sound shore from Tacoma to Seattle. It is hoped that events will soon justify the 
construction of the Cascade Mountain division direct to Puget Sound, as many people 
east of the mountains look to that line as essential to their prosperity. Meantime the 
country has the assurance that this Cascade division of the Northern Pacific will be 
constructed at the earliest practicable moment. 

During the past season the O. R. & N. Co. has graded a road from Walla Walla 
to Milton, where it joins the Blue Mountain branch. This will soon be ironed and 
as far as the Blue Mountains Station will be converted into a standard gauge. The 
extension of this line to a connection with the Baker City branch, at some point on 
the reservation above Pendleton is one of the works of the near future. 

The Oregon Short Line, an extension of the Union Pacific road, is rapidly 
approaching from the east. This road is reaching out toward an independeut outlet 
on the Pacific, either by crossing the mountains to Portland, or by way of Walla Walla 
and the Cascade mountains to Puget Sound. It is possible that the O. R. & N. Co. 
and the Oregon Short Line, will connect at Baker City. 

The Prospect Hill Railroad Company was organized in May, 1882, to build a line 
seven and one-half miles in length, from Foster Station, on the Baker City branch, 
twelve miles above Umatilla City, to Prospect Hill, work to be commenced in the 

With completion of the Northern Pacific road in 1883 and that of the Oregon 
Short Line either to connect with the Blue Mountain division of the O. R. & N. Co.'s 
road or by a continuous line to the coast, an increased stimulus will be given to immi- 

Their completion will open raj)id, direct communication with the Atlantic Coast, 
will turn more travel and the attention of other capitalists towards the Northwest ; will 
show to them a grain field that would freight the shipping of an empire ; will photo- 
graph upon their memories, the picture of a country where Nature has prepared a field 
for labor to combine with capital and convert it into an agricultural paradise ; will make 
of the region, embraced within this system of railways, the poor man's promised land, 
and carry him to it ; and will convert it for a time into the most favored spot under 
our national flag for the success and prosperity of those who are so fortunate as to either 
own property or live within it. 


When the era of development was fairly commenced in the Pacific Northwest, the 
enterprising minds that were interested in the work, comprehending the wealth of un- 
developed resources, and the actual need of capital to prosecute various enterprises, 
that not only j>romised rewards for investment, but were actually necessary to meet the 
progress of this great region, inaugurated the Oregon Improvement Company, with 
$5,000,000 capital, and with powers and scope that included the owning and manage- 
ment of any kind of property that could invite investment. Since that time, only two 
years ago — for the incorporation was effected on the twenty-first of October, 1880 — 
that company has borne a prominent part in many important enterprises. In that 
brief space of time they purchased the property and franchises of the Seattle Coal 


and Transportation Company, owning mines at Newcastle, twenty miles from Seattle. 
They also purchased the Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad, which at present bears the 
name of Columbia and Puget Sound Railroad, running twenty miles from Seattle 
to Newcastle, via Renton, at each of which places they carry on mining operations. 
To facilitate coal mining and carrying that product to market the Improvement 
Company built at the East four iron steam colliers, the Walla Walla, Mississippi, Uma- 
tilla and Willamette, with aggregate carrying capacity of ten thousand tons, which 
already find active employment in the coal trade with Pacific ports. Feeling the need 
of wharf facilities at San Francisco, where their coal finds most extensive market, 
the company purchased the valuable property of the Union Lumber Company of that 
city, where they have already constructed extensive coal bunkers and spacious 
wharf and warehouse privileges. They also own a large wharf, and have all neces- 
sary terminal facilities at Seattle, in connection with the Columbia and Puget Sound 
Railroad. The Improvement Company will also operate the extensive coal bunkers on 
the East Portland side of the Willamette, below Albina. They are also sole owners of 
the Pacific Coast Steamship Company, engaged in the transportation for freight, pas- 
sengers and mails by steamship between San Francisco and all Pacific coast ports, in- 
cluding Alaska. In view of the future expansion of their coal trade, the company have 
secured large and valuable tracts of mineral lands in Western Washington Territory. 
It will be seen that this enterprise had already assumed wide scope and was performing 
an important part in connection with the destinies of the Sound, region. They are des- 
tined also to take a strong interest in the progress and development of the upper coun- 
try, east of the Cascades. 

Two years ago the great value of the Palouse country was understood by a few 
persons and attracted the attention of the gentlemen interested in the Oregon Improve- 
ment Company. Finding the Northern Pacific Railroad willing to dispose of lands 
they purchased the odd sections from that company, of fourteen townships in the 
very heart of the Palouse region, containing 150,000 acres of soil seldom equaled for 
richness or fertility. This land has been carefully graded and is placed on the marke 
at prices ranging from $5.00 to $10.00 an acre as follows : 


160 ACRES AT $5 PER ACRE, $800. 

First payment, at time of purchase, $133.33 and interest $ 46 67 Total. 

Second payment, at end of second year, $133.33 and interest 37 33 " 

Third payment, at end of third year, $133.33 and interest 28 00 

Fourth payment, at end of fourth year, $133.33 and interest 18 67 " 

Fifth payment, at end of fifth year, $133.33 and interest 9 33 

Sixth and last payment, at end of sixth year, $133.33 " 

$140 00 

160 ACRES AT $7 PER ACRE, $1,120. 

First payment, at time of purchase, $186.67 and interest $ 65 33 

Second payment, at end of second year, $186.67 and interest 52 26 

Third pa;\ ment, at end of third year, $186.67 and interest 39 20 

Fourth payment, at end of fourth year, $186.67 and interest 26 13 

$ 180 












$ 940 00 

$ 252 









Fifth payment, at end of fifth year, $186.67 and interest 13 06 Total . . 199 72 

Sixth and last payment, at end of sixth year, $186.67 " 186 67 

$195 98 " ..$1315 98 

160 ACRES AT $10 PER ACRE, $1,600. 

First payment, at time of purchase, $267.66 and interest $ 93 33 " . .$ 360 00 

Second payment, at end of second year, $266.66 and interest 74 67 " . . 341 33 

Third payment, at end of third year, $267.66 and interest ■ 56 00 " 322 67 

Fourth payment, at end of fourth year, $267.66 and interest 37 33 " . . 304 00 

Fifth payment, at end of fifth year, $267.66 and interest 18 67 " . . 285 33 

Sixth and last payment, at end of sixth year, $267.67 " . . 266 67 

$280 00 " ..$1880 00 

Finding other valuable lands for sale, the Improvement Company also acquired , 
by purchase of private owners, 28,000 acres in Powder River valley, a beautiful and 
fertile region located in among the Blue mountains, and to be soon traversed by the 
Blue Mountain division, known as the Baker City branch, of the O. R. & N. Co.'s 
system. This land is sure to become valuable, owing to its location among the rich 
mining districts of Eastern Oregon, and the small area of good farming land in that 

The Improvement Company also own 9,000 acres of valuable timber land, sit- 
uated in the Blue mountains. Enterprising citizens of Walla Walla and Dayton, 
realizing the great need of lumber, and timber for fuel, fencing, and building pur- 
poses, inaugurated business projects that included the ownership of timber land and 
lumber mills in the adjoining mountains and the construction of water flumes to con- 
nect their saw-mills with the valley, down which to float lumber, fencing, firewood, 
railroad ties, etc. They undertook more than they could financially handle, and be- 
came insolvent. When the Improvement Company, seeing that the progress of the 
country and the completion of the railroads was delayed by their failure, purchased the 
flume to Dayton, in Washington Territory, and then to Milton, in Oregon, each nearly 
thirty miles in length, and carried both enterprises to a successful issue. 

In connection with the sale of its lands above enumerated, the Company has 
adopted a system of improving the same for the advantage of the settler. Construct- 
ing houses, fences, etc., when desired, at less price than the settler could do the work. 
The land is sold in tracts, not exceeding 160 acres to a single person, with a view to 
securing good cultivation and preventing land monopoly. When the Improvement 
Company commenced operations in the Walla Walla country, lumber sold at $25 per 
thousand feet, that now sells for $18. The policy followed is to identify the Company 
with the settler and aid men with moderate means to locate to advantage and succeed 
in life. So far its policy has been liberal and considerate to immigrants and others 
making homes on its lands. The gentlemen constituting the Oregon Improvement 
Company are : 

Henry Villard, residence New York City. 

Director, Henry Failing, residence Portland, Oregon. 

Director, C. H. Lewis, residence Portland, Oregon. 

Director, J. M. Buckley, residence Portland, Oregon. 

Director, 8. G. Reed, residence Portland, Oregon. 


Director, A. H. Holmes, residence New York City. 

Director, George M. Pullman, residence Chicago, Illinois. 

Director, William Endicott, Jr., residence Boston, Massachusetts. 

President and director, J. N. Dolph, residence Portland, Oregon. 

General Manager and director, C. H. Prescott, residence Portland, Oregon. 

Assistant Manager, J. W. Howard, residence San Francisco, California. 

Assistant Manager, G. W. Weidler, residence Portland, Oregon. 

Secretary, Joseph Simon, residence Portland, Oregon. 

General Agent, T. R. Tannatt, residence Walla Walla, Washington Territory. 

General Tannatt has charge of the land, lumber and flume interests. 



So much has been noted of agriculture in another chapter of this book that it 
becomes difficult to place this subject properly before the reader without repeating that 
which is already recorded. In 1812, John Clarke, of Astor's party, established a post 
on Spokane river, planted vegetables there, and, leaving seeds with, instructed 
Indians how to continue this limited agriculture after his departure from the country. 
If there is anything antedating this north of San Francisco, except at Oak Point 
and Astoria, we have no record of it. The Hudson's Bay Company's farming, 
fruit growing, and gardening followed upon their taking possession of the country, and 
the missionaries used it as one of the principal civilizing agents with Indians. Then 
the ex-Hudson's Bay employes began tillage of the soil upon retiring from their hunt- 
ing pursuits, the American settlers in the country following all these in point.of time. 
East of the Cascade mountains Dr. Whitman in the Walla Walla valley, and Rev. 
H. H. Spalding on the Clearwater river in Idaho were the first, after the Hudson's Bay 
Company, to test the soil for grain ; but, none of these imagined the uplands would 
grow it. A very small proportion of the country was bottom land, along either creeks 
or rivers, and only such being considered productive for cereals, there followed a wide- 
spread opinion in the Eastern States that it was a grainless region that only escaped 
being a desert by having a sickly, rain-starved grass, upon which stock in limited 
numbers could graze. 

In 1857, Capt. W. R. Kirkham, acting quartermaster at Walla Walla, had a gar- 


den planted near the present barracks southwest of the city. Charles Russell, who 
now resides in the valley, was in that department at the time, and suggested the pro- 
priety of saving the trouble and expense of transporting the grain for so many 
animals from the Willamette, by raising it in the valley about the post. At first vege- 
tables were tried with success, which was followed by sowing eighty acres of barley on 
what now is known as the Drumhaller farm, from which 50 bushels to the acre were 
cropped. This was in the spring of 1858, and, after the seed was sown, Mr. Russell 
went to the place where his ranch now is, plowed and sowed 100 acres of oats, and 
undertook to erect a log house, but the Indians forbade him to build it. The stock, 
ranging in the country, grazed the oats down, and he thought his attempt a failure ; 
but, after Colonel Steptoe's return from his defeat north of Snake river, Mr. Russell 
fenced the oat field in, and the result was 50 bushels of oats to the acre. The same 
year Walter Davis sowed 150 acres of oats on Dry creek, but Indian hostility pre- 
vented him from harvesting it, and it was sold to the quartermaster, who sent soldiers 
to guard the workmen while they cut it for hay. 

The immediate result of throwing the country open to settlement, and the first 
farmers settling in the valley, in consequence, has been mentioned elsewhere. In fact, 
there seems little to add of record or reference to the primitive efforts of the pioneer 
farmers of the country, except to mention some of the encouragements, though 
coupled with disadvantages, which caused them to convert that waste of lands into 
a vast wheat domain. 

At first there was no market, except at the garrison, and to those who arrived in 
the country provisionless, and comparatively few acres would supply such a demand. 
The mines were discovered in 1860, and the rush to them through Walla Walla, in 
1861, created the first valuable market; and let us glance as we pass at the farmer and 
his opportunities in those days. The summer of 1861 had been a mine to him ; any- 
thing that he could spare was readily taken at high prices. Then came the winter in 
its severity, in which his stock were starved, and he became a purchaser, without 
means generally, when prices ranged as follows in December at Walla Walla: 

Bacon per pound $ $ .25 Dried apples per pound ...$ .20 to $ .25 

Beans per pound 12 to .15 Rice per pound 18 to .20 

Butter per pound 50 to .75 Sugar per pound 18 to .26 

Oats per pound 02i to .03 Eggs per dozen 1.00 

Nails per pound 161 Yeast powder per dozen... 4.00 to 6.00 

Tobacco per pound 60 to 1.00 Flour per hundred 5.00 to 6.00 

Soap per pound 16 to .17 Wheat per bushel 1.25 to 1.50 

Candles per pound .50 

Because of the scarcity and demand for farm products, resulting from the hard 
winter and immense mining immigration, prices had reached in Walla Walla, January 
24, 1862, an exorbitant rate. Eggs were worth one dollar per dozen, butter sold for 
one dollar per pound, and the Statesman editorially notes that : " In fact, almost every 
article that the farmer produces commands high, not to say exorbitant, prices. The 
farmer then who cannot, or does not, make a good living, and accumulate money be- 
sides, in this valley must have indeed very little energy or management. Yet some 
farmers have nothing to sell, and complain bitterly of hard times." 


Many farmers could not put in crops, because of their having used seed grain in 
trying to save their teams from starving in the winter ; but with the coming summer, 
a bounteous harvest greeted them from the fields of stubble land that brought forth its 
second installment of wealth unexpectedly, as a volunteer offering at the shrine of a 
land capable of repeating its generous productions. In January, 1862, the editor of 
the Washington Statesman, in taking a glance at the existing opportunity of gathering 
wealth from products of the soil, observes : " It is lametable that our extent of agri- 
cultural lands is so limited ; yet those who may be so fortunate as to secure farms and 
homes within any of the valleys that skirt the gold range, will be sure of prosperity." 
This sounds absurd now, when it is known that the lands of the country, surrounding 
the writer on every side at the time, not in the valleys, could be recorded in acres by 
the hundreds of thousands, that would produce an average of thirty-five bushels to the 
acre of wheat on summer fallowed ground. 

In August, 1862, an auction of stock took place in Walla Walla, at which time 
the following were recorded, which may be taken as the price of cattle at that time : 

Two cows at $18.00 each Two heifers at $20.50 each 

One cow at 15.00 Two heifers at 5.50 each 

One cow at 17.00 Two steers at 39.50 

Sixteen cows at 21.50 each Two steers at 33.50 

One cow and calf at 40.00 Fifty-two steers at 20.50 each 

One cow and calf at 31.00 

The " immigrant escort's" property was sold at auction, — October 21, 1862, — in 
Walla Walla at the following rates : Six mule teams with wagon, at an average of 
$793 ; a number of mules at an average of $65 ; several horses at $55 each ; rifles 
and revolvers at $20 and $21, the whole property bringing $13,037. In May, 1863, 
an estimate, based upon the census returns of the county, was made upon the agri- 
cultural products of that year as follows : 

Acres. Yield. Total. 

Wheat, 4782 20 bushels 96,640 

Corn, 1,515 30 bushels 45,450 

Oats, 4,515 30 bushels 135,450 

Barley, 1,486 30 bushels 44,580 

Potatoes, 256 150 bushels 35,400 

Timothy, 410 1 ton 410 

Total value $325,415 

In 1864, the great Pacific Coast drouth was felt east of the Cascades, and no 
rain fell there 'in July or August, which caused the Statesman to state that : " Not- 
withstanding the long-continued dry weather there will be some corn raised in the 
valley," and thirty days later that : " Farmers have an abundance this year, many 
having sold their grain at one and a half to two cents per pound, while others are 
holding for better figures." The first record of a discovery that the hill lands 
would produce grain, was made in 1864, a farmer, whose name is not given, having 
sowed fifty acres in the fall of 1863, from which he cropped 1,650 bushels of wheat in 
1864, and no more important discovery has been made in any country. In November, 



$ 1.50 












1864, the Statesman notes in regard to the flour product, and recent improvement in 
quality of both flour and wheat manufactured and grown in the Blue mountain region : 

" The flour now manufactured by the Walla Walla valley mills is fully equal in 
quality to any which finds its way into the market from Oregon, and the ' extra super- 
fine' is far superior to much of that put up in the Willamette region. A year or two 
ago the reverse of this was true. Our millers have within the 

last year made all the necessary improvements in their mills in the way of bolting 
machines, and are enabled to manufacture a good article of flour, and sell it about as 
fast as it is put up, at the same rates as flour from the lower country. 

" Our farmers too have generally procured good and clean seed wheat, in the 
place of the filthy, mixed wheat which was formerly so abundant in the valley, and in 
this way have contributed immensely towards the improvement of the flour." 

In June, 1865, eggs were selling for 40 cents per dozen, and butter at the same 
price per pound. Along the Touchet and Copei creeks crickets destroyed half the 
crop. In September, wheat brought $1.25 per bushel in the valley, and Walla Walla 
manufactured flour sold at $10 per barrel, this being ten per cent, less than the 
California product could be delivered for in the same place. 


Flour 7,000 barrels Potatoes 21 tons 

Hav 583 tons Cabbage lh tons 

Oats and barley 229 tons Bran 7 tons 

Onions 29 tons Wool 15,504 pounds 

The steady demand in the spring of 166, for agricultural products to supply the 
mining population, served, " To stimulate our farmers to the utmost, and under this 
influence the productive resources of the valley are likely to be taxed to their utmost," 
observes the Statesman. How little they knew of the resources of that valley and 
country, in which the land area cultivated that season was 17,921 acres, while in 
Walla Walla county alone it was 62,649 in 1879, to which 30,000 more, at least, has 
since been added. A careful estimate of the wheat yield in 1866, between the Cas- 
cade and Rocky mountains, was made, November 2, that gave to Walla Walla 200,000, 
to Grand Bonde valley 100,000, to Powder river, Payette, and Boise valleys 100,000, 
and to Umatilla, Colville, Nez Perce, Bitterroot, and adjoining valleys 100,000 
bushels, making the total product 500,000 bushels of wheat. Thirty days later the 
following was placed before the readers of the Statesman as the 


Wheat 555,000 bushels Horses sold to miners 1,500 

Oats 250,000 bushels Cattle driven to mines 5,000